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The Knight And The Shepherd's Daughter

  • (Trad - Child #110)

            Singin' didy-i-o, sing fal-a-do
            Sing diddy-i-o, i-ay

    I'm a forester in this wood, and you're the same design
    It is the mantle or your maidenhead, bonnie lassie, never mind

    Syne you've laid me doon it's come pick me up again
    An' syne ye've teen the wills o' me come tell to me your name

    Sometimes they call me James and sometimes they call me John
    An' when I'm on the king's highway Young Daniel is my name

    They neither call ye James or they neither call ye John
    An' when ye're on the king's highway Young William is your name

    When he heard his name called out he's mounted on his steed
    She's buckled up her petticoats, an' efter him she's gaed

    He's run an' she run the lang summer day
    Till they come till a water, it was cried the river Tay

    It's dae ye see yon castle that's owre on yonder green
    There is the bonniest maiden there that wad dazzle your een

    I see the castle, it's ower in yonder green
    An' I have seen the maiden there that wad dazzle your een

    Did he steal your mantle, or did he steal your fee
    Or did he steal your maidenheid, the floo'er o' your bodie

    He neither stole my mantle, or he neither stole my fee
    But he stole ma maidenheid, the floo'er o' my bodie

    I wisht I drunk the water the nicht I drunk the wine
    Tae hae a shepherd's dochter tae be a love o' mine

    When the mairriage it cam' off, they laughed to see the fun
    She wes the Laird o' Urie's dochter, he wes a blacksmith's son

    (as sung by Lizzie Higgins)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1968:] All but one of [Prof. Child's] versions are from Scotland, the major part from the north. Despite this, the Scots collector George Kinloch maintained that the ballad was originally English and the internal evidence supports his view.

    Tales of this type are well known and widespread, appearing in Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and in fifteenth century manuscripts of some Arthurian legends. The episode which marks off this story from other similar tales and ballads is the translation of the Latin name. After being seduced or raped (as often in real life the distinction is not clear in the song) [sic!] the girl asks the hero's [sic!] name and is given the Latin for William. She is able to translate this into English, revealing a higher social status than he first supposed and preparing us for the denouement. As one might have expected, the significance of this exchange is lost in many latter day versions, although Gavin Greig was still finding sets at the turn of the century in which it was clear. (Peter Hall, notes Norman Kennedy 'Scots Songs and Ballads')

  • [1975:] This robust ballad turns on the transformation of the heroine from peasant to noblewoman and, as Motherwell suggests, it is a modernisation of the hag into beauteous maiden that occurs in such pieces as The Marriage of Sir Gawain and in tales in English and Gaelic, both Scots and Irish. Greig collected a number of sets most of which are close to ours but the one printed in 'Last Leaves' is longer and more elaborate than the others and ends even closer to Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath's Tale' than is usual.(Peter Hall, notes Lizzie Higgins 'Up and Awa' Wi' the Laverock')

  • [1976:] Version from Shetland (Notes 'Five Hand Reel' Dick Gaughan)

  • [1979:] The general theme of this ballad - the bride who is not what she seems - links it (as William Motherwell pointed out) with the tales belonging to the class of the Marriage of Sir Gawain (Child 31). Gaelic analogues can be found in the twelfth century book of Leinster, and in Ossianic tales collected in Scotland as recently as 1957. When Child edited versions of the ballad known to him, he had only two English versions [...] to go on, as compared to a dozen from Scotland, but since his day many English versions have been collected. Nevertheless, if one surveys the whole clanjamfrie, one is inclined to allow Child's judgment to stand when he says: "Kinloch is fully justified in claiming for the Scottish ballad a decided superiority." This spirited heroine, who refuses to let the nouveau riche noble get away with it, brings to mind that "vivacious cousin of the wife of Bath", Dunbar's Widow, (in The tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo). Since in some versions of the ballad the seducer tries to latinize his name ("Gillimie" or "Guelmus" for William etc.) and finds to his dismay that the "shepherd's daughter" can unravel his Latin, one wonders if Dunbar had a story of this kind in mind when he made the Widow say: "Ladyis, this is the legend of my life, though Latin it be nane." (Hamish Henderson, notes 'The Muckle Sangs')

  • [2000:] It was 25 years ago so I'm not entirely sure of the exact source of the text but it was probably a collation of one of the versions in Child with snippets from elsewhere. [The idea of putting it to the Shetland tune 'Christmas Day Ida Morning':] Mine. I'd learned the tune from Aly Bain while working with him in Boys of the Lough. (Dick Gaughan, uk.music.folk, 15 Dec)

Quelle: Scotland

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