Henry's Songbook

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  • (Trad)

    Sovay Sovay, all on a day
    She dressed herself in man's array
    With a sword and pistol hung by her side
    To meet her true love
    To meet her true love away did ride

    As she was riding over the plain
    She met her true love and bid him stand
    Your gold and silver, kind sir, she said
    Or else this moment
    Or else this moment your life will have

    And when she'd robbed him of his store
    She said, Kind sir there is one thing more
    A golden ring which I know you have -
    Deliver it
    Deliver it your sweet life to save

    That golden ring a token is
    My life I'll lose the ring I'll save
    Being tender-hearted just like a dove
    She rode away
    She rode away from her true love

    Next morning in the garden green
    Just like true lovers they were seen
    He spied his watch hanging by her clothes
    Which made him blush
    Which made him blush like any rose

    What makes you blush at so silly a thing
    I thought to have had your golden ring
    'Twas I that robbed you all on the plain
    So here's your watch
    Here's your watch and your gold again

    I did intend and it was to know
    If that you were my true love or no
    So now I have a contented mind
    My heart can bow
    My heart can bow and my dear is thine

    (as sung by Martin Carthy)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1965:] A great favourite among country singers and printed by Such, among others, under its alternative title. Her name varies from place to place - Sovay, Silvy, Shilo, Sally, etc. - but the story remains the same being a rather involved and slightly chancy way of establishing her lover's good faith. The tune sung here was collected by Hammond in Dorset and slightly altered rhythmically by Bert Lloyd giving it a somewhat Balkan lift. The text is collated from various versions. (Notes 'Martin Carthy')

  • [1966:] Another girl who dressed in men's clothes, high-spirited this time to a dangerous degree. The heroine of this piece has been called 'the kinkiest girl in folk song'. It's not quite clear whether her name is really Sylvie or Sophie, but of her forthright and adventurous character there can be no doubt. Lucy Broadwood found this 'an exceedingly favourite ballad with country singers', and every collector of prominence has found versions of it. (Notes A. L. Lloyd, 'First Person')

  • [1967:] The broadsides of the capitalist age show another amiable democratic feature in the profusion of dauntless lower-class heroines. [...] The wind of epic, faint perhaps but still having some edge, blows through this dashing narrative [...]. (Lloyd, England 155)

  • [1968:] A much printed song on broadsides where the heroine's name is usually Sophie or Sylvie; in later copies there is an additional first verse which adds absolutely nothing to the story. The song is currently rather popular at the folk-song clubs and I would like to point out that the tune is not - as I recently heard an earnest young singer explain - in 7/4 time: the three notes at the beginning of 2nd and 4th complete bars are triplets, i.e. three notes in the time of two. Apart from one notable exception, Riding Down To Portsmouth, the rhythm of 7-in-a-bar does not exist in English folk song. It is just possible that the original timing of the tune was in 9/8, although I don't think so. I would say that the song is a typical product of the 18th century pleasure gardens. (Purslow, The Wanton Seed)

  • [1980:] True lovers, it seems, delighted in finding ways to test each other's constancy, and this little tale was very well loved. One suspects that it dates from the heyday of highwaymen in the mid-eighteenth century, though its first appearances in print were early in the nineteenth. (Palmer, Ballads 192)

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 28.08.2002