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Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You

DigiTrad:
ALL I WANT IS A HANDSOME MAN or RIPEST APPLES
CHESTER CITY
OH, NO JOHN


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: On a mountain stands a lady (22)
Lyr Req: Laurie of the Duram (6)
Lyr Req: Urgent need help -found- No John No (10)
Lyr Add: No Sir, No Sir (3)
Lyr Req: Oh No John Parody (8)
(origins) Lyr Add: No, John, No (8)
No Sir (4)


Richie 31 Jul 17 - 01:15 PM
Richie 31 Jul 17 - 01:24 PM
Richie 31 Jul 17 - 04:27 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 17 - 04:31 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 11:50 AM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 12:15 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 12:54 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 17 - 01:33 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 01:55 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 02:17 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 06:37 PM
Richie 01 Aug 17 - 10:15 PM
Richie 02 Aug 17 - 12:12 AM
Richie 02 Aug 17 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Aug 17 - 05:30 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 17 - 05:32 PM
Richie 02 Aug 17 - 06:42 PM
Richie 02 Aug 17 - 07:46 PM
Richie 02 Aug 17 - 10:59 PM
Richie 03 Aug 17 - 10:39 AM
Richie 03 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM
Richie 03 Aug 17 - 06:14 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 17 - 02:41 AM
Richie 04 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM
Richie 04 Aug 17 - 11:39 PM
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Richie 10 Aug 17 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 10 Aug 17 - 03:15 PM
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Richie 11 Aug 17 - 11:03 PM
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Subject: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 01:15 PM

Hi,

After work on Died for Love, there were several stanzas related to the Died for Love songs that also appeared in Madam I've Come to Court You songs; the Ripest Apple stanza and Wheel of Fortune stanza.

This study will try and get to the bottom of these humorous courting songs. There are many already in the DT and several good threads, however, the origin and relationships between the different versions have not been adequately studied. So this is my attempt.

What I need first are any old print versions, antecedents and broadsides- as well as traditional versions from the 1800s or earlier.

Here are some titles:

"Madam, I Am/Have Come to Court You" (Come a-courtin') NA/UK
"No, Sir" Eddy/Tolman
"O No John" sharp/Somerset
"Ripest Apples" UK
"Twenty Eighteen" Broadwood/UK
"The Spanish Merchant's Daughter" Stoneman
"The Spanish Captain" UK
"Spanish Lady" US/UK
"Yonder Sits a Spanish Lady" UK
"Yonder Sits a Pretty Creature" Williams
"In Yonder Grove" Sharp/ also Baring Gould
"Tarry Trousers" Irish/ Sam Henry
"Wheel of Fortune" Irish/UK
"Dublin City" Irish/UK
"Ettrick Lady" Scottish/UK
"The Quaker's Courtship" New England
"Quaker's Wooing" Barry/New England
"The (Lincolnshire) Handsome Woman" Boston/Roxburge
"Vandy Vandy" Manley from NC
"A Sport Song" Cazden
"Sober Quaker" Dorson/ Eddy
"The Lovely Creature" 1760 Broadside
"Madam, I'm a Darling" Frank Harte/Scotland
"She Always answers No" Peggy Seeger US

These are a few of the main titles. There are two Roud numbers: 146 and 542. The texts are mixed but Roud 142 is for "Spanish Merchant's Daughter"/"Oh No John"/"No Sir" even though the texts are mixed.

I assume "Spanish Merchant's Daughter" was adapted from an archaic "she answers no" version. There are several older versions with different text with the "No" answer. The concept is that the suitor asks questions that will advance his desire to seduce the lady-- even when she answers "no." A number of versions have this theme while others mix the "Madam" stanzas from the 1700s or just use the "Madam" stanzas.

Any old broadsides or print versions from the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s are welcome- then we can get into various versions.

TY

Richie


    This is an edited PermaThread, edited by Richie. Feel free to post to this thread, but please be aware that your posts to this thread may be edited or deleted.

    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: The Lovely Creature
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 01:24 PM

Hi,

I'll start by posting one of the fundamental broadsides. This one, forwarded by Steve Gardham, is from item 11, The Tom Tit Part 1, of 17 songs and this is the 4th song, titled "The Lovely Creature." It is also titles after the first line "Yonder Sits a Lovely Creature." Here is the text:

THE LOVELY CREATURE

Yonder sits a lovely creature,
Who is she? I do not know,
I'll go court her for her features,
Whether her answer be "Ay" or "no."

"Madam, I am come to court you,
If your favor I can gain,
Madam if you kindly use me,
May be I may call again."

Well done," said she, "Thou art a brave fellow,
If your face I'll ne'er see more,
I must and I will have a handsome young fellow,
Altho' it keep me mean and poor.

"Madam I have rings and diamonds,
Madam I have got houses and lands
Madam I've got a world of treasure,
All shall be at your command."

What care I for rings and diamonds?
What care I for houses and lands?
What care I for worlds of treasure?
So I have but a handsome man."

Madam, you talk much of beauty,
Beauty it will fade away,
The prettiest flower that grows in summer,
Will decay and fall away.

First spring cowslips then spring daisies,
First comes night love, then comes day,
First comes an old love then comes a new one,
So we pass the time away.

A number of traditional versions have used a similar title including Butterworth's c. 1907 version with Mrs. Cranstone's text titled "Yonder Stands a Lovely Creature."

Richie


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Subject: ADD: No Sir!
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 04:27 PM

Hi,

Here's a print version of "No Sir" from: Songs and Ballads: 96 Songs - Words and Music W.F. Shaw, New York, c. 1881, dated 1882. It's also found in Shaw's "Gems of Minstrel Song" also dated 1882 and later in Delaney's Song book (New York).

Shaw's version with music is "Sung by the leading Minstrels":

NO SIR!
"Spanish Ballad"
Words and Music Arr. by A. M. Wakefield

1. Tell me one thing, tell me truly,
Tell me why you scorn me so?
Tell me why when asked a question,
You will always answer no?

CHORUS: No sir! No sir! No sir! No-- sir!
No sir! No sir! No sir! No.

2. My father was a Spanish merchant
And before he went to sea,
He told me to be sure and answer No!
To all you said to me.
CHORUS

3. If I was walking in the garden,
plucking flow'rs all wet with dew,
Tell me will you be offended,
If I walk and talk with you?
CHORUS

4. If when walking in the garden,
I should ask you to be mine,
and should tell you that I loved you,
would you then my heart decline?
CHORUS

This is a print version of the song also known as "Spanish Merchant's Daughter" or "Spanish Lady" that was sung in the US and UK in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The suitor asks questions expecting a "No" answer so he can win his love even with a "No" response. Several UK traditional versions titled "Oh No John" have a "garter" stanza and are racier (See Sharp's MS of Woolsey). It is not related in particular to "Madam" songs, although some version have mixed texts. The Roud number is 146.

A.M. Wakefield, the arranger was from Kendal, UK. Here's a brief online bio: Mary Wakefield was born in 1853 at the Old House, Kendal, the daughter of a local banker, and lived later at Sedgwick House, near Kendal. From her earliest years, she was a talented singer who, after training with notable London teachers, gave many charity concerts, sang at the Gloucester Festival and was acclaimed by many eminent critics. Barred by the conventions of the day from pursuing a career as a professional singer, she poured her love of music into a desire to make music more available to rural communities. She founded and trained a number of choirs in the villages around Kendal and brought them together for the first time in 1885 to take part in a “Singing Competition” to raise money for Crosscrake Church. The idea took hold and within a few years a large choir could be assembled to sing larger works. Several of the choirs founded by Mary Wakefield still thrive and still support the Festival for which they were created. Mary Wakefield died in 1910 but her name and her Festival live on, still supported by the Wakefield family, along with many other local individuals and organizations, who all value her unique contribution to the musical life of this area."

Several early versions from the 1600s have been given by Bruce Olson as possible antecedents. Any early print versions?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 04:31 PM

I wouldn't call them antecedents, Richie. There are plenty of ballads that use the same trick but they needn't be related.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 11:50 AM

Hi Steve,

I quote Bruce Olson: "Consent at Last" in Scarce Songs 1 on my website. I take it to be the original of "No, John, No/ Spanish Merchant's Daughter".

I understand your point that "No Sir" (posted above) is a modern adaptation of the 'No' response quite different than "Consent at Last.". It's also clear that the "Oh No John" or "No Sir" songs are different songs (Roud 146) that sometimes share the same stanzas as "Madam." That's why "Oh No John" or, "No Sir" songs need to be studied here. Sharp's "Oh No John" has the same first stanza as c. 1760 "The Lovely Creature" (see above).

Another early 1600s broadside "The Dumb Lady; Or, NO, no, not I; Ile Answer" has the same formula or "trick" as you called it. Those versions which are antecedents of the "No" formula or trick but with entirely different texts should be explored.

I'll post four, the first and last are missing the bulk of the stanzas.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 12:15 PM

Hi,

Here are four early versions with the "No" response to the suitor's inquiries. The first is given by Bruce Olson from "a manuscript version of about 1635-40, in Bodleian MS Ashmole 38 (a collection of single sheets from various sources bound together), is so badly waterstained that most of it is unreadable. The first of seven verses goes:

Lady why doth love torment you
May not I your grief remove?
Have I nothing will content you
With the sweet delights of Love.
Oh, no, no, alas, no
"

I can't find it in the Bodleian. If anyone has a link or more information about this version, please post it here.

* * * *

The second version appears in Pills to Purge Melancholy, commencing in 1700; (III, p. 82, 1719), with a tune, and it goes as follows:

Consent at Last.

Ladys, why doth Love torment you?
Cannot I your Grief remove?
Is there none that can content you
With the sweet delights of Love
O No, no, no, no, no: O, No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Beauty in a perfect Measure,
Hath the Love and wish of all:
Dear, then shall I wait the Pleasure,
That commands my Heart and all:
O No, &c.

If I grieve, and you can ease me,
With you be so fiercely bent,
Having wherewithal to please me,
Must I still be Discontent?
O No, &c.

If I am your faithful Servant,
And my Love does still remain;
Will you think it ill deserved,
To be favour'd for my pain?
O No, &c.

If I should then crave a Favour,
Which your Lips invite me to,
Will you think it ill Behaviour,
Thus to steal a Kiss or two?
O No, &c.

All Amazing Beauty's Wonder,
May I presume your Breast to touch?
Or to feel a little under,
Will you think I do too much?
O No, &c.

Once more fairest, let me try ye [.. only let me love you
Now my wish is fully sped, [For my lippes...]
If all Night, I would lye by ye,
Shall I be refus'd your Bed?
O No, &c.

In this version the suitor has quickly figured out how to have his way even with a "No" answer. The third version is a broadside in the British Library- Roxburghe 2.111 as it was printed for P. Brooksy at the Golden-Ball in Pye-Corner between 1672-84:

The Dumb Lady; Or, NO, no, not I; Ile Answer.
To the Tune of, the Doubtful Virgin, or the new Borey; or Will you be a Man of Fashion.

Underneath a little Mountain
where I us'd my self to walk,
By a pretty pleasant Fountain
there I heard two Lovers talk
Hah! said he my only Jewel,
would you have your Lover dye,
Can you be so fare and cruel
no indeed quoth she not I,

Why my dear my pretty Nancy,
will you then torment my mind?
If poor Willy you can fancy
shew your self to him more kind.
Or if you design my Ruine,
I am willing for to dye
But be short in my undoing
Still she answered no not I.

Why then pray will you torment me
and take pleasure in my smart,
When a kind look will content me
will you frown to break my Heart,
If it be my Nannys Pleasure
on my Sword Ile freely die,
Give the word my only Treasure
Still she answered no not I.

Bid me live and ile endeavour,
every way to gain your Love
If this be to great a Favor
bid me from your eyes remove
Deal with me as with a Creature
as you please shall live or die
Are you Mistress of ill Nature,
Still she answered no not I.

This indeed was more contenting,
than what ere before she gave
Tho it was not full consenting
it encouragd her Flame.
Should I tempt to kiss my fair one
would you say dispair and die,
Say my Love my only dear one
Still she answered no not I.

Then he laid his Arms, about her
she the Posture did Approve,
He resolvd no more to doubt her
and by progress of his Love
Gaind such conquest streight upon her
that at last they swain cry
Will you yield the Fort of Honour
Still she answered no not I.

But their was so little distance
and so yielding a defence
That he found all her resistance
was but only complesence,
Now said he you must surrender
if I force you will cry?
All she said so: to defend her
Was indeed my dear not I.

Hard it was at the first Sally
for to say which side would beat,
Tho poor Willey oft did Rally
he as often did retreat:
But what most deservd my wonder
Willey he for all his Art,
Tho he kept poor Nanny under
was the first desird to part.

Notice that the word "mountain" is used in the opening, where it's usually "hillside." Of the fourth and last version dated 1770s, I've only one stanza. It's titled "No! No! Sung by Mrs. Wrighten, at Vauxhall" (eighteenth-century slip, Harvard College, 25242.3, fol. 132). It begins:

That I might not be plagu'd with the nonsense of men,
I promis'd my mother again and again,
To says [sic] as she bids me wherever I go,
And to all that they ask, I should answer them no.

* * * *

The last version (see additional notes in JAF "No Sir") seems much closer to the modern versions which have a Spanish Captain instead of the mother. Anyone who has the remainder of the first or last versions please post or provide a link,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 12:54 PM

Hi,

I finally found the text to "No, No" sung by Mrs. Wrighten at Vauxhall. It's printed as a song in "The Choice Spirit's Chaplet: Or, a Poesy from Parnassus" by George Alexander Stevens, 1771.

[No! No!] SONG 144.

THAT I might not be plagued with the nonsense of men,
I promis'd my mother again and again
To say as she bids me wherever I go,
And to all that they ask, or would haw, tell 'em No.

I really believe I have frighten'd a score:
They'll want to be with me, I warrant no more,
And I own I'm not sorry for serving them so;
Were the same thing to do, I again would say No.

For a shepherd I like, with more courage and art,
Won't let me alone, tho' I bid him depart;
Such questions he puts since I answer him so,
That he makes me mean Yes, tho' my words are still No.

He ask'd, did I hate him, or think him too plain;
(Let me die if he is not a clever young swain,)
If he ventur'd a kiss, if I from him would go,
Then he press'd my young lips, while I blush'd and said No.

He ask'd if my heart to another was gone;
If I'd have him to leave me, or cease to love on;
If I meant my life long to answer him so;
I faulter'd, and sigh'd, and reply'd to him, No.

This morning an end to his courtship he made;
Will Phillis live longer a virgin he said;
If I press you to church, will you scruple to go
In a hearty good-humour I answer'd, No, no.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 01:33 PM

Hi Richie,
My comment on the use of the word 'antecedent' is only a personal preference really. In its widest sense it simply means something that has gone before but in the context of ballad evolution I prefer to use it as meaning a definite/likely variant of the later ballad, rather than just a motif or plot in common.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 01:55 PM

Hi Steve,

They are different texts with the same "No" response. The UK versions from the early 1900s have a "garter" stanza and Sharp's sanitized version like the one sung by Mrs. Wighten in the 1770s has a "marriage/church" stanza at the end. For now, we will shift back to the origin topic, leaving the "Oh No John/No Sir" versions.

Here's a second early print version (dated c.1776) of "Madam/Lovely Creature" given to me by Steve from "British Library, item 1346 m 7, Broadsides 1 to 42, this being item 29, 3 songs of which this is the third." It's two stanzas longer than the first:

A New Song ("Yonder Sits a Handsome Creature") dated c. 1776.

Yonder sits a handsome creature,
What she is I do not know,
But I'll go court her for her feature,
If her answer be not, "no."

"Madam, I am come a wooing,
If I can your favor gain,
And if you make me kindly welcome,
I perhaps will come again."

"Set down you're kindly welcome,
If I never see you more,
But I must and I will have a handsome husband,
Whether he be rich or poor."

"Madam I've got gold and treasure,
Madam I've got house and land
Madam I've got rings and jewels,
And all will be at your command."

What care I for gold and treasure,
What care I for house and land
What care I for rings and jewels,
If I had but a handsome man."

Madam you have much of beauty,
Which is a thing that soon will fade,
For the brightest flower in the summer,
Is the flower that soonest fades.

After cowslips there comes roses,
After night there comes day,
After a false love there comes a true one,
And so we pass the times away.

Ripest apples are the soonest rotten
Hottest love is the soonest cold
Young men's love is soonest forgotten
Maids take care be not too bold.

He that has my heart a-keeping,
O that he had my body too,
For I shall spoil my eyes with weeping,
Crying, "Alas! what shall I do?"

The ending of "A New Song" is reminiscent of Died for Love: A maid falls in love with a false love and after they become lovers he abandons her and she is no longer a maid. He has her heart and had her body too-- but he is gone. The warning to all maids is taken from the first extant appearance of the Ripest Apple stanza:

Young men's love is soonest forgotten
Maids take care be not too bold.

This message and the ending is delivered by a third party with a moral equivalent of the Died for Love ballads and songs. There is a disconnect between the message delivered by the rejected older suitor and the ending which, although similar, has shifted from the aged suitor to the third person or a narrator. The lack of a cohesive story line makes this courting song seem like a song that is simply about the rejection of the old unappealing suitor by a young beautiful woman who wants not money and possessions but a handsome man. Although her craving for beauty is shallow, her rejection of material wealth is not. It shows a confidence is her expressed desires. At the end when the rejected suitor tries to convince her of the temporary value of beauty it seems his argument has fallen on deaf ears-- the maid will have none of it. His argument is in itself contradictory for he desires the very thing which is transient- the maid's beauty (her features). The shift to third person or a narrator at the end proves that not only is the aged suitor rejected but the maid's handsome man has rejected her as well- an ironic twist.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 02:17 PM

Hi,

The significance of the "Ripest Apple" stanza and the "Wheel of Fortune" identifying stanzas associated with Died for Love is apparent in these next two traditional versions which date back to the 1800s in England and Ireland. A new counting chorus has been added and the title is sometimes "Twenty, Eighteen" and also "Ripest Apple."

The first version sung by S. C. of Boston, Mass., a native of County Tyrone, Ireland was published with music in the article "Irish Folk-Song" by Phillips Barry in Journal of American Folklore, Volume 24, page 342. Barry relates:

To Irish folk-singers, at least in the Northern States, we owe the presence of a large part of the folk-song current in this country. ... Yet very few Irish songs have become Americanized, — due doubtless to the exile's love of his native country. Two, however, are notable exceptions. Of these, one [is] a song of the camp, entitled "The Unfortunate Rake".... The other song is as follows:

[Madam, I Have Come to Court Ye]

1. "Madam, I have come to court ye,
If your favor I could gain.
If you highly entertain me,
I will surely call again.

CHORUS: With my 20, 18, 16, 14,
12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1,
With my 19, 17, 15, 13,
11, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1.

2. "Madam, I have gold and silver.
Madam, I have house and land.
Madam, I have worldly treasures,
. . . . . . . . . . ."

3. "What care I for your gold and silver?
What care I for your house or land?
What care I for your ships on the ocean?
All I want's a nice young man."

4. "Round about the wheel of fortune,
It goes round and wearies me.
Young men's ways are so uncertain,
Sad experience teaches me!"

Barry's Irish version has the Wheel of Fortune identifying stanza as the last stanza. A new chorus has appeared and this is the "Twenty, Eighteen" chorus that was known as well in the UK in the later 1800s. Barry's second chorus line is usually "12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and none," to have the correct count and rhyme. About the same time Barry published "Madam" a similar version was printed from Norfolk, England in English County Songs edited by Lucy Etheldred Broadwood and John Alexander Fuller-Maitland, 1908.

TWENTY, EIGHTEEN.

1 "Ho! yonder stands a charming creature,
Who she is I do not know;
I'll go and court her for her beauty,
Until she do say yes or no."
CHORUS: Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen,
Twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, nought;
Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen,
Eleven, nine and seven, five, three, and one.

2 "Ho! Madam, I am come for to court you,
If your favour I may gain;
And if you will entertain me
Perhaps I may come this way again,'
       Twenty, eighteen, &c.

3 "Ho 1 Madam I have rings and jewels,
Madam, I have house and land,
Madam, I have wealth of treasures,
Ail shall be at your command."
       Twenty, eighteen, &c.

4 "Ho! what care I for your rings and jewels?
What care I for your house and land?
What care I for your wealth of treasures?
All I want is a handsome man."
      Twenty, eighteen, &c.

5 "Ho! first come cowslips and then come daisies.
First comes night and then comes day;
First comes the new love, and then comes the old one,
And so we pass our time away."
       Twenty, eighteen, &c.

6 "Ho! the ripest apple is the soonest rotten,
The hottest love is the soonest cold;
Lover's vows are soon forgotten,
So I pray, young man, be not too bold."
       Twenty, eighteen, &c.

The following final verse is given in Shropshire Folk Lore, pp. 552, 652:

"But fare you well, my dearest creature,
Since I have no more to say;"
"O turn again, young man, I'll have you,''
But his answer was "Nay, nay!"

Both versions from the UK in the late 1800s have music. Barry's version published in 1908 was learned by the informant, S.C. in Ireland in the 1800s. Broadwood's words and tune were taken from Besthorpe, near Attleborough, as quoted in the Musical Herald for September, 1891. An additional note found in "The Espérance Morris Book" by Mary Neal, Clive Carey, Geoffrey Toye, 1910 about the same version states: Sung by a carpenter at Besthorpe, Norfolk, to the Rev. J. T. Howard, and collected by John Graham for The Musical Herald, September, 1891. An old settler in Massachusetts fifty years ago used to sing at the end of the refrain, "I've done," instead of "And one." This suggests that the "Charming creature" had to say "Yes" or "No" by the time the figures were counted.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 06:37 PM

Hi,

The version quoted by Broadwood in the last post was from Shropshire Folk-lore, a Sheaf of Gleanings - Part 2, page 552, by Charlotte Sophia Burne, Georgina Frederica Jackson, 1885. Burne's principal Shropshire singers were Jane Butler, Harriet Dowley, and Sally Withington. Here's the text with the Burne/Jackson notes:

"The Disdainful Lady" Sung by Harriet Dowley, of Edgmond, who knew no title to it. I have not met with it in any collection, but the first stanza slightly resembles a game-rhyme given ante (p. 509), and one in Folio Lore Journal, Vol. I. p. 387.

Yonder stands a comely creature
With her breast as white as snow,
I'll go court her for her feature,
Though her answer'll perhaps be no.

"Madam, I am com'n a-courting,
If your favour I can gain,
And if you will entertain me,
Perhaps that I may come again."

"Sit you down, young man, you're welcome,
If your face I see no more,
For I will have a handsome young man,
Whether he be rich or poor."

"Madam, I've got gold and silver,
Madam, I've got house and land,
Madam, I've got great stores of riches,
They all shall be at your command."

"What care I for gold and silver
What care I for your house and land,
What care I for your your treasures,
If I can have but a handsome man?"

"Madam, you talk much of beauty,
It's a flower that soon decays,
The finest flower in   the summer,
It doth soonest fade away.

The ripest apple's soonest rotten,
The hottest love is soonest cold,
A young man's word is soon forgotten,
So, pretty maid, don't be so bold.

"But fare you well, my dearest creature,
Since I have no more to say."
"O turn again, young man, I'll have you!"
But his answer was, "Nay, nay."
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 10:15 PM

Hi,

I'm posting two other old "She answered, No" versions. The first "A Warning for Maides" is attributed to Richard Crimsal and was "printed at London for John Wright, the younger, dwelling at the upper end of the Old- Bayley." It's dated circa 1636. It's taken from The Roxburghe Ballads, Volume 3, edited by William Chappell, 1880, p. 41. Original spelling kept.

"A Warning for Maides, Or, The False Dissembling, Cogging, Cunning, Cozening Young Man, who Long Did Try and Use His Skill, to Woo a Coy Young Maid to His Will and when He Had Obtain'd Her Love, to Her He Very False Did Prove" by Richard Crimsal (Climsall- Roxburghe).
To A DAINTY New TUNE, CALLED No, no, not I.

All in a May morning, in the merry month of May,
Into the green meddowes I did take my way;
There I heard a young man to his love make reply;
But she answered him scornfully, "No, no, not I."

"Sweet heart," quoth this young man, "my love is intire,
My heart is inflamèd with Cupid's hot fire:
Your love I intreat, why should you deny ?"
But she answered him scornfully, "'No, no, not I."

"O sweet, 'tis thy love that I doe so much crave,
And I will maintain you still gallant and brave;
Faire mistresse, for your love I certain shall die."
Quoth she, "Away! foolish man, I care not, I."

"Will you seeke to wrong a man in such a case?
If I die for love, it will be your disgrace;
I hope you will yeeld me some other reply."
But she answered him scornfully, "No, no, not I."

"Sweet, have you no more regard of a young man,
I will strive to doe thee all the good [that] I can ;
Methinks you should yeeld unto me by and by."
But she answered him scornfully, "No no, not I."

"And if that all maids should be of your mind,
Then what would or should become of us mankind
Sweet, let you and I now try our destiny."
But she answered him scornfully, "No, no, not I."

"Pray, what is the reason, I am young and faire;
Besides you doe know I am my father's heire:
Sweet, let me intreat your love and courtesie."
But she answered him scornfully, "No, no, not I."

"For vaulting or leaping, or such exercises,
For dancing or skipping, I still win the prizes;
Come, grant me thy favour, my pretty pigsnie."
But she answered him scornfully, "No, no, not I."

"I am in all parts most compleat like a man,
And I can do as much as any [man] can:
Then, prethee, sweet heart, doe not my love deny."
Now she answered him kindly, "Sweet love, not I."

"If gold will content thee, why gold thou shalt have,
Or any thing else that thou canst wish or crave:
'Tis onely on thy love that I doe rely."
Now she had forgot to say, "No, no, not I."

Finis

* * * *

The second "she answered, No" song "The Denying Lady" was printed by and for A. Milbourn, at the Stationers- Arms in Green-Arbor about 1684.

The Denying Lady, Or, A Travellers Frolick with a Woman that Reply'd No to All Questions and Discourses Put to Her. Tune of, I marry and thank you too. Licensed according to Order.

1. AS I was upon the way,
a Lady by me did go;
I asked her what time of day,
her answer to me was no.

2. Concluding she did not hear,
I ask'd her how far to Bow;
Instead of saying far or near,
her answer to me was no.

3. Her humour methought was strange
I wou'd not be baffled so;
Madam will you a Kiss exchange?
her answer it still was no.

4. She smil'd as she spoke to me,
or else my Cake had been Dough;
Will you said I, then angry be,
her answer it still was no.

5. Encourag'd by this Reply,
I on with my Tail did go;
Won't you refuse my Company?
her answer it still was no.

6. Thus I discover'd the way;
her humour better to know;
Will you Loves precepts disobey?
her answer it still was no.

7. I offer'd her thewn my hand,
she took it with pleasing show;
Will you a Lovers wish withstand?
her answer it still was no.

8. If I shou'd a Favour crave,
you wou'd not offended grow;
Or shall I not your Anger have,
her answer it still was no.

9. Won't you be averse that we,
together shou'd walk to Bow;
Or sit a while beneath yon Tree?
her answer it still was no.

10. The Tree was nearest by much,
and thither we chose to go;
Will you your sweet embraces grutch
her answer to me was no.

11. I tumbl'd her gently down,
and pleas'd her fancy I trow;
For she gave me full twenty pou,
her answer no more was no.

12. I rally'd my Forces then,
and bravely attacqu'd my Froe;
She swore I was the best of men,
her answer no more was no.

13. I askt her House and Name,
which no Body here shall know;
She frankly did declare the same,
her answer no more was no.

14. We oft repeated our sport,
we were not Idle or slow;
What e're I beg'd of her in short,
her answer no more was no.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 12:12 AM

Hi,

In the US and Canada "Madam I Have Come To Court You" is usually known as the "Quaker's Courtship" or "Quaker's Wooing." It was version popular in New England and especially well known in New York. Apparently it was printed by the 1850s, although the first extant sheet music was printed in New York in 1878. Most of the New England and Canadian versions feature a line, chorus, line chorus format:

(HE) "Madam, I am come a-courting—
Hum, hum, heigh-o hum!
'Tis for pleasure, not for sporting—
Hum, hum, heigh-o hum! [W.W. Newell, 1883]

While the female's answer features a different chorus:

(She) "Sir, it suits me to retire,
Teedle link turn, teedle turn a tee;
You may sit and court the fire,
Teedle link turn, teedle turn a lee." [W.W. Newell, 1883]

This form is significantly different than the early English broadsides of c. 1760. The "Quaker" title is derived from the following stanza found in many New England versions:

She) Yes I know you are flatterer
Fall liddle li dum diddle lalla da
But I never will marry a quaker
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da. [Sheet music George Kanski, NY, 1878]

This humorous courting song is not taken from the Quakers themselves but rather is a stereotypical image associated with the old suitor. Since the "Quaker" stanza is not found in the UK (see for a possible exception Baring-Gould children's song) it's assume that it is strictly a New England adaptation of "Madam" from the early 1800s.

The print version of 10 stanzas (also written as 5 double stanzas) is very similar to the version published by Thompson of a Douglass MS which predates the first extant print version of 1878. The natural assumption would be that the Douglass version was based on an earlier unknown pre1850s print version. Here's the Douglass MS version with minor corrections dated c. 1850 (between 1841-1860):

The Quaker's Wooing

1. He) Madam I have come a courting
Hum hum hi ho hum
More for pleasure than for sporting
Hum hum hi ho hum

2. she) I'll go away 'tis my desire
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da
For you may sit and court the fire
Fal liddle li dun diddle lalla da

3. He) I've a ring worth forty shillings
Hum hum hi ho hum;
Thou shalt have it if thou art willing
Hum hum hi ho hum.

4. She) What care I for gold or money
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da
I'll have a man that will call me honey
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da.

5. He) Madam I know thou art tall and slender
Hum hum hi ho hum
And I know thy heart is tender
Hum hum hi ho hum.

6. She) Yes I know you are flatterer
Fall liddle li dum diddle lalla da
But I never will marry a quaker
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da.

7. He) Must I give up my religion?
Oh dear oh dear me;
Must I be a Presbyterian?
Oh dear oh dear me.

8. She) Cheer up cheer up my loving brother
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da
If you can't catch one fish catch another,
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da.

9. He) Must I leave without a token
Oh dear oh dear me
Must I leave with my heart broken,
Oh dear oh dear me.

10. She) Run right home and tell your daddy
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da
That I never will you marry
Fal liddle li dum diddle lalla da.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 04:59 PM

Hi,

The Quaker's were a sect founded in England by George Fox about 1650. Members of the sect were called Quakers because they were said to "quake at the name of the Lord." Their belief was not based on any previous organized religion but they believed in pure Christian principles and on developing the spiritual inner light that "lighteneth every man that cometh into the world." As Jesus called his followers "friends" the Quakers sect became known as the Religious Society of Friends.

Fox himself came to America several times and despite early persecution the Quakers were firmly established in Jersey, Rhode Island and by Quaker William Penn in Pennsylvania by the later part of the 1600s.

In the early years of the movement "Quaker" was a term used by outsiders to convey contempt. It appears that this is the stereotypical image portrayed in the "Madam, I have Come to Court You" songs of early America. The Quaker in the song is a older man doting on a young attractive maid.

This is the only extant printed "Quaker" version titled "The Quaker's Courtship." It was arranged by George Kanski and published in 1878 in New York by William A. Pond Co. It also has the full 10 stanzas although the stanzas are doubled here:

"The Quaker's Courtship."

1. (He) Daddy sent me here a courting
Oh! Oh! Oh!
I'm in earnest, I'm not sporting
Oh! Oh! Oh!
(She) You sit there and court the fire,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti,
To be let alone is my desire,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti.

2. (He) I've a ring worth twenty shilling
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Thou can'st have it if thou'st willing,
Oh! Oh! Oh!
(She) I want none of your rings and money
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti,
I want a man to call me honey,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti.

3. (He) Lady thou art tall and slender,
Oh! Oh! Oh!
And I know thy heart is tender
Oh! Oh! Oh!
(She) Sir, I think you are a flatt'rer,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti,
And I cannot marry a Quaker,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti.

4. (He) Must I give up my religion,
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Must I become a Presbyterian?
Oh! Oh! Oh!
(She) Cheer up, cheer up, darling brother
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti,
If you can't catch one fish go catch another,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti.

5. Must I leave without one token,
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Must I leave with my heart broken?
Oh! Oh! Oh!
(She) You go home and tell your daddy,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti,
That you could not get me ready,
Teedling tee, tee, teedling ti.
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 05:30 PM

Great stuff, RIchie.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 05:32 PM

I have a theory that 'Madam, Madam' is one of those rare beasts that did not first appear in print. It is typical of the dialogues that were performed on village stages in costume in rural England and this could have been its origin, like a few others of similar type, some dating back several centuries.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 06:42 PM

Hi,

This version from Michigan in 1860 introduces a different form where the suitor offers a farm and farm animals. After he is rejected he hopes she'll freeze. This is usually called "The Courting Case" but Randolph called it, "The Courting Cage." A number of versions have been collected in the US where it is also found in the Appalachians.

"The Wooing" was sung in 1934 by Mr. E. W. Harns, Greenville, who learned the song in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, about 1860. From Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan, 1939, version A.
   
1 "Madam, I have come to marry you
And settle in this town;
My whole estate is worth
Ten thousand pounds.
Which I will will to you,
If you will be my bride."

2 "O that's enough for me,
I don't desire you."

3 "O madam, I have a very fine house,
All neat and rectified,
Which you may have at your command
If you'll but be my bride."

4 "I know you have a very fine house
Besides a clever barn,
But you're too old to think to hold
A bird with a single yarn."

5 "O madam, I have a very fine horse,
Whose face is like the tide,
Which you may have at your command
If you'll but be my bride."

6 "I know you have a very fine horse,
Which you keep in yonders barn,
But his master likes a glass of wine
For fear his horse might learn."

7 "O madam, I have a very fine field,
Full fifty acres wide,
Which you may have at your command
If you'll but be my bride."

8 "I know you have a very fine field
And a pasture at the foot,
And if I had you, I'd turn you in,
For I'm sure a hog would root."

9 "O madam, you are a scornful dame
And very hard to please,
And when you get old and pinched with cold,
I swear I hope you'll freeze."

10 "And when I get old and pinched with cold,
'Twon't be you'll keep me warm;
I'll be single and be free
And stay as I was born."
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 07:46 PM

Thanks Martin,
Steve-- I think I just read about it being used in Mummers plays. I know that there are plays with the children's variant, "On the Mountain Stands a Lady" too. The latter versions are known as skipping games in the UK. The same title is used for children's games in Canada and of course the "Quaker's Wooing" versions was collected as a children's game in Connecticut and published in 1883 by W.W. Newell.

I was just listening to several Scottish versions, which are usually titled "Ower Yon Hill there Lives a Lassie."

I'll post one more version of Quaker's Wooing which I would imagine is from the early 1800s in Medfield near Boston. It is from the Allen family manuscripts which trace back through the family perhaps to the 1600s although their family songbook is dated 1899. I'm not suggesting that his version dates any earlier than the late 1700s, nor can I prove that it's even that old. Boston did not accept the Quaker religion at first. Here's a bit from Wiki:

The Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English members of the Society of Friends, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Robinson and Mary Dyer, and to the Friend William Leddra of Barbados, who were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs under the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659, 1660 and 1661. Several other Friends lay under sentence of death at Boston in the same period, but had their punishments commuted to that of being whipped out of the colony from town to town.

"The hanging of Mary Dyer on the Boston gallows in 1660 marked the beginning of the end of the Puritan theocracy and New England independence from English rule. In 1661 King Charles II explicitly forbade Massachusetts from executing anyone for professing Quakerism. In 1684 England revoked the Massachusetts charter, sent over a royal governor to enforce English laws in 1686, and in 1689 passed a broad Toleration act
."[Wiki]

From "Some Traditional Songs," by Phillips Barry, 1905 JAF. As taken from a family MS collection entitled "Family Songs, compiled by Rosa S. Allen. Music arranged by Joseph A. Allen. As sung by the Allens at the Homestead, Castle Hill, Medfield, Massachusetts, 1899."

The Quaker's Wooing.

1. "Madam, I have come to woo thee,
O, hum, oh!
Madam, I have come to court thee,
Oh, hum, oh dear me!"
"Get you gone, you saucy Quaker,
Hi a dink a dady oh!
I'll have none of your Quakerish actions,
Kutty ka dink a dady oh!"

2 "I've a ring cost forty shilling,
Oh, hum, oh,
Thou shalt have it if thee art willing,
Oh, hum, oh dear me!"
"I'll have none of your rings or money,
Hi a dink a dady oh!
I'll have a man that calls me 'Honey,'
Kutty ka dink a dady oh!"

3 "Must I then change my religion,
Oh, hum, oh!
And become a Presbyterian?
Oh, hum, oh dear me!"
"You must learn to lie and flatter,
Hi a dink a dady oh,
Else you never can come at her,
Kutty ka dink a dady, oh!"

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 02 Aug 17 - 10:59 PM

Hi,

There are a few Scottish versions. This is the version of the Stewarts of Blairgowrie. The woman answers only in the last stanza.

Ower Yon Hill There Lives a Lassie- sung by Belle Stewart (1906-1997) of Blairgowrie, Perthshire in 1955. Learned from her older brother, who got it from an uncle in Perth.

Ower yon hill there lives a lassie
But her name I do not know.
And this nicht I will go an' see her,
Whether she be high or low.

Lassie I hae come to see thee,
Bur perhaps it is in vain,
But if you will kindly entertain me,
Sure maybe I'll call back again.

Oh Lassie I have got gold and silver,
Lassie I have got diamond stone
Lassie I have got the ships on the ocean,
And they'll be yours love if you'll be mine.

What care I for your gold and silver?
What care I for your diamond stone?
What care I for your ships on the ocean?
Sure all I want is a good young man.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 10:39 AM

Hi,

Here's another Scottish version similar to the above but with the UK counting chorus combined with the identifying The Wheel of Fortune stanza. It was learned from 'twenty different folk' who sang it without the chorus much as Belle Stewart sang it (see above).

"The Wheels of Fortune." Sung by Alexander Harley of Cupar, Fife who was a retired farm servant, born at Lucklaw Farm, Leuchars in 1908. Recorded by Hamish Henderson in 1981. This version was covered by Natalie Merchant & Michael Stipe.

Ower yon hill there lives a lassie
What is her name I do not know.
Some fine nicht I'm going and see her,
Whether she be rich or no.

CHORUS: It's 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, and a 5, 3, 1
20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, none.
'Round and 'round goes the wheels of fortune;
'Round and 'round till they wearie me
Young women's hearts are so uncertain,
Sad experience teaches me.


Oh Lassie I hae gold and silver,
Lassie I hae houses and land
Lassie I hae ships on the ocean,
All to come at your command.

CHORUS:

Oh what care I for your gold and silver?
What care I for your houses and land?
What care I for your ships on the ocean?
When all I wants is a good young man.

CHORUS:

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM

Hi,

The only extant UK version of Quaker's Courtship comes from Sabine Baring-Gould: "A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes," p. 35, 1895, Methuen and Co. London. It was "collected from a Devonshire nurse." Whether this was brought to the UK from the US is unknown.

The Quaker Song

O dear me! I've lost my lover!
Hum-hum-hum-hum-hum!
How shall I his loss recover?
Hum-hum-hum-hum-hum!
'Seek him dearest, thou shalt find him,
Fa-la-la-la-la-li-gee-wo.
Seek him when the spirit moves you,
Fa-la-la-la-la-li-gee-wo.

O but how he does disdain me!
Hum-hum-hum, etc.
His cruel looks have almost slain me!
Mum-hum-hum, etc.
As for looks they need not matter,
Fa-la-la, etc.
You must learn to fawn and flatter,
Fa-la-la, etc.

'But that dreadful sin of lying,
Hum-hum-hum, etc.
A guilty conscience when I'm dying,
Hum-hum-hum, etc.
'Love and conscience ne'er went courting,
Fa-la-la, etc.
Youth and death is ill consorting,
Fa-la-la, etc.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 06:14 PM

Hi,

Even with two Roud numbers and dividing "No Sir/oh No John" and "Madam, I am Come a-Courting," many versions are a composite of the two. This example is from Cecil Sharp Manuscript Collection (at Clare College, Cambridge) (CJS2/9/2813). There is a "she answered No" chorus but then it stops after the second stanza. it's assumed that she still answers No.

No Sir- sung by Lucy Garrison of Manchester, Kentucky on 11 August, 1917 as collected by Cecil J. Sharp.

1. Yonder stands a pretty fair maiden
With her hands as white as snow,
I'll go and court her for her beauty,
Till she answers Yes or No,
   Yes or no, yes or no,
   Till she answers Yes or No.

2. "Madam, I am come a-courting,
If your favor I do gain,
And [if] you'll kindly entertain me,
Then perhaps I'll come again."
   Aha no, no, sir no,
   Every Answer to me was No.

3. "Madam I have gold and silver,
Madam I have house and land,
Madam I have a ship on ocean,
It may be at your command."

4. "I don't want any of your gold and silver
I don't want any of your house and land,
I don't want any of your ship on the ocean
All I want is a handsome man."

5. Tell me one thing tell me truly,
Tell me why you scorn me so,
Tell me why when I ask a question
You will always answer, No.

6. My father was a Spanish sailor
And before he went to sea,
Told me to be sure to answer, No Sir,
To everything you said to me.

7. If you're walking in your garden
Plucking flowers all wet with dew,
Tell me would you be offended,
If I walked and talked with you?

8. If when walking in your garden
I should ask you to be mine,
If I tell you that I love you
Would you then my heart decline?

9. If you were sitting in your parlour,
Well content as you'd wish to be,
Would it be a misbehaviour
For me to come and sit with thee?

10. There we sat and there we courted,
Till the chickens began to crow.
All in the world I had to ask her,
[If she would] open her arms and let me go.

The first 4 stanzas are "Madam" whilst the last are Spanish Sailor/No Sir" stanzas. This version was found in Kentucky in 1917 and surely dates back to the 1800s. Even though it has stanzas from the printed No Sir versions of the late 1800s -- it would seem to pre-date those.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 02:41 AM

Here's a performance of "No John No" by Oscar Brand with the Simon Sisters (Carly and Lucy). I think people need to see it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD82pOhdrgI


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM

TY Joe,

Here's Michael Stipe of REM fame and Natalie Merchant singing an ad lib duet of "The Counting Song" at a live performance in 1989. How they got Alexander Harley's version of "The Wheels of Fortune" (see lyrics three post back) I don't know:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2id_GPZBGc

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 11:39 PM

Hi,

"No Sir" was very popular in US (see text above) and widely printed there in the late 1800s. The first extant printed version of "No Sir" was W. F. Shaw's version with music arranged by Miss A. M. Wakefield that calls the song a "Spanish Ballad" which was "Sung by the leading Minstrels." According to Cecil Sharp her arrangement was very popular. He reports a quote from her in Somerset Folk Songs, "I first heard something like this from an American Governess. . . neither words or music were at all complete. I wrote it down and it got a good deal altered. I never regarded it as a folk song." [quote from Mary Wakefield, a talented singer from Kendal, b. 1853]

The print version of "No Sir" was reprinted a number of times and was "very popular." It entered tradition and versions have been titled "Spanish Merchant's Daughter" or "Spanish Captain" and also "Spanish Lady." It was was sung in the US and UK in the early 1900s sometimes mixed with stanzas of "Madam." Since the printed "minstrel" version of "No Sir" was adapted from tradition, the stanzas are from pre1881 tradition. Any version with the exact same order and the "No Sir" chorus is obviously from print. The 1916 version in the Wolford book "The Play-Party in Indiana" is exactly like the 1881 print.

Even though "Oh No John" is very similar and has the "Spanish captain" stanza there are differences. In both versions the suitor asks questions expecting a "No" answer so he can win his love even with a "No" response. When the core stanzas of "No Sir" and "Oh No John"are compared, only have the Spanish Captain stanza is held in common. There are a number of composites and separating the two would be difficult but the print version of No Sir is different. The fundamental "Oh John version was collected by Cecil Sharp in 1907 from William Wooley of Bincombe, Over Stowey, but heavily revised. Sharp compares the melody to Billy Taylor and relates that the theme is similar to Keys of Heaven, another courting song.

Oh No John (first two stanzas from William Wooley of Bincombe in 1907, composite of 4 versions)

On yonder hill there stands a creature,
Who she is I do not know.
I'll go and court her for her beauty;
She must answer Yes or No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

My father was a Spanish captain -
Went to sea a month ago,
First he kissed me, then he left me -
Bid me always answer No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

O Madam in your face is beauty,
On your lips red roses grow,
Will you take me for your lover?
Madam, answer Yes or No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

0 Madam, I will give you jewels,
I will make you rich and free,
1 will give you silken dresses;
Madam, will you marry me?
Oh No, John! No John! No, John! No!

O Madam since you are so cruel,
And that you do scorn me so,
If I may not be your lover,
Madam, will you let me go?
O No John! No John! No John! No!

O hark! I hear the church bells ringing,
Will you come to be my wife?
Or dear Madam, have you settled
To live single all your life?
O No John! No John! No John! No!

Woolsey's original version has a "garter" stanza and is much racier which is why Sharp changed it. Here's Woolsey's original text from Cecil Sharp Manuscript Collection (at Clare College, Cambridge) (CJS2/9/1285):

Oh No John

On yonder hill there stands a creature,
Who she is I do not know.
I'll go and court her for her beauty;
She must answer Yes or No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

On her bosom were bunches of posies,
On her breast where flowers grow,
If I've a chance to touch that posy
She must answer Yes or No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

My father was a Spanish captain -
Went to sea but a month ago,
And the very last time we kissed and parted,
He always bid me answer No.
O No John! No John! No John! No!

"Madam, shall I tie your garter?
Tie it a little above your knee,
If my hand should slip a little farther
Would you think it amiss of me?"
O No John! No John! No John! No!

One night they went to bed we together
There they lay till cocks did crow
Then they sport till the daylight was breaking
Now it's time for us to go.
O No John! No John! No John! No!
****

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 12:32 PM

Hi,

Another variant from the 1800s are the children's games versions usually appearing as these two titles: "On a Mountain Stands a Lady" and "Lady on Yonder Hill." I have not been able to trace them earlier to the 1700s-- anyone that has any old versions please post or provide info. Clearly they are related to "Madam, I am come to Court You" which is used for the first stanza. The following is from "Dictionary of British Folk-lore, Volume 1" edited by G. Laurence Gomme, 1894:


I. There stands a lady on the mountain,
    Who she is I do not know;
    All she wants is gold and silver,
    All she wants is a nice young man.
Choose one, choose two, choose the fairest one of the two.
   The fairest one that I can see,
   Is pretty, walk with me.

—Barnes, Surrey (A. B. Gomme).

II. There lives a lady on the mountain,
   Who she is I do not know;
   All she wants is gold and silver,
   All she wants is a nice young man.

Choose one, choose two,
Choose the fairest of the few.
Now you're married I wish you joy,
Father and mother you must obey;
Love one another like sister and brother,
And pray, young couple, come kiss one another.

—Colchester (Miss G. M. Frances).

III. Here stands a lady on a mountain,
    Who she is I do not know;
    All she wants is gold and silver,
    All she wants is a nice young man.

Choose you east, and choose you west,
Choose you the one as you love best.

Now Sally's got married we wish her good joy,
First a girl and then a boy;
Twelve months a'ter a son and da'ter,
Pray young couple, kiss together.

—Berrington (Shropshire Folk-lore, pp. 509, 510).

IV. Stands a lady on the mountain,
    Who she is I do not know;
      All she wants is gold and silver,
      All she wants is a nice young beau.
    Take her by the lily-white hand,
    Lead her across the water;
    Give her kisses, one, two, three,
    For she is her mother's daughter.

—Shipley, Horsham (Notes and Queries,
      8th series, i. 210, Miss Husk).

V. There stands a lady on a mountain,
   Who she is I do not know;
   All she wants is gold and silver,
   All she wants is a nice young man.

Now she's married I wish her joy,
First a girl and then a boy;
Seven years after son and daughter,
Pray young couple kiss together.

Kiss her once, kiss her twice,
Kiss her three times three.

—Wrotham, Kent (Miss D. Kimball).

VI. There stands a lady on the ocean [mountain],
    Who she is I do not know her;
    All she wants is gold or silver,
    All she wants is a nice young man.

      Choose once, choose twice,
      Choose three times over.

Now you're married I wish you joy,
First a girl and then a boy;
Seven years old a son and daughter,
Play and cuddle and kiss together.

Kiss her once, kiss her twice,
Kiss her three times over. —Deptford (Miss Chase).

VII. There stands a lady on the mountain,
    Who she is I do not know:
    Oh! she wants such gold and silver!
    Oh! she wants such a nice young man!

Now you're married I wish you joy,
First a girl and then a boy;
Seven years after a son and a daughter,
Kiss your bride and come out of the ring.

—Berkshire (Miss Thoyts, Antiquary, xxvii. 254).

(V) A ring is formed, one child in the centre. The ring sing the first verse, and then the centre child chooses one from the ring. The chosen pair kiss when the ring has sung the second. The first child then joins the ring, and the game begins again. In the Barnes version the centre child calls one to her from the ring by singing the second verse and naming the child she chooses.

(c) A version from Lady C. Gurdon's Suffolk County Folklore (p. 62) is the same as previous versions, except that it ends— Now you're married you must be good,

Make your husband chop the wood; Chop it fine and bring it in, Give three kisses in the ring. Other versions are much the same as the examples given.

(d) This game has probably had its origin in a ballad. Miss Burne draws attention to its resemblance to the " Disdainful Lady" (Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 561), and H alii well mentions a nursery rhyme (No. cccclxxix.) which is very similar. Mr. Newell (Games, p. 55) prints words and tune of a song which is very similar to that ballad, and he mentions the fact that he has seen it played as a round by the "Arabs of the street." He considers it to be an old English song which has been fitted for a ring game by the addition of a verse. See "Lady on Yonder Hill."

Lady on Yonder Hill

I. Yonder stands a lovely lady,
   Whom she be I do not know;
   I'll go court her for my beauty,
   Whether she say me yea or nay.
    Madam, to thee I humbly bow and bend.
    Sir, I take thee not to be my friend.
    Oh, if the good fairy doesn't come I shall die.

—Derbyshire (Folk-lore Journal, i. 387).

11. There stands a lady on yonder hill,
   Who she is I cannot tell;
   I'll go and court her for her beauty,
   Whether she answers me yes or no.
    Madam, I bow vounce to thee.
    Sir, have I done thee any harm?
    Coxconian!
Coxconian is not my name; 'tis Hers and Kers, and Willis and Cave.
Stab me, ha! ha! little I fear.
Over the waters there are but nine, I'll meet you a man alive.
Over the waters there are but ten, I'll meet you there five thousand.

Rise up, rise up, my pretty fair maid,
You're only in a trance;
Rise up, rise up, my pretty fair maid,
And we will have a dance.

—Lady C. Gurdon's Suffolk County Folk-lore, p. 65.

(b) In the Suffolk game the children form a ring, a boy and girl being in the centre. The boy is called a gentleman and the girl a lady. The gentleman commences by singing the first verse. Then they say alternately the questions and answers. When the gentleman says the lines commencing, "Stab me," he pretends to stab the lady, who falls on the ground. Then he walks round the lady and sings the last verse, "Rise up," and lifts up the lady. In the Derbyshire game only three children play, the lover, lady, and fairy. The girl stands a little distance oft". The lover says the first four lines, then approaches the lady, falls on one knee, and says the next line. The lady replies, and retires further away. The lover then falls on the ground and says the next line. As this is said the good fairy appears, touches the fallen lover with her hand, and he is immediately well again.

(c) This is a curious game, and is perhaps derived from a ballad which had been popular from some more or less local circumstance, or more probably it may be a portion of an old play acted in booths at fair times by strolling players. It is not, as far as I can find out, played in any other counties. The lines—•

Over the water at the hour of ten,
I'll meet you with five thousand men;
Over the water at the hour of five,
I'll meet you there if I'm alive,

are portions of a dialogue familiar to Mr. Emslie, and also occur in some mumming plays. It may also be noted that the curing of illness or death from a stab is an incident in these plays, as is also the method of playing. The first lines are similar to those of "Lady on the Mountain," which see.
* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 03:49 PM

Hi,

"The Roving Sailor" or "Come my Little Roving Sailor" is an Irish and also American variant related to the melody of "Oh No John" (Billy Taylor). It's known as a play-party or dance song. Here's one text from Sharp's EFSSA:

THE ROVING SAILOR Sung by Mr. Jacob Sowder at Callaway, Franklin Co., Va., August 14th 1918.

Come my little roving sailor,
Come my little roving bee,
Come my little roving sailor,
Roving sailor, will you marry me?

Madam, I have gold and silver,
Madam, I have house and land,
Madam, I have a world of pleasure,
All shall be at your command.

What cares I for your gold and silver?
What cares I for you house and land?
What cares I for a world of pleasure?
All I wants is a handsome man.

Madam, do not stand on beauty,
Beauty is a fading flower;
The best rose in yonders garden
Fade away in one half an hour.

First they'll hug you and then they'll kiss you,
Then they'll call you honey, my dear.
They'll tell you more in half an hour
Than you'll find true in seven long years.

If anyone knows any Irish or UK variants, please post them,

TY

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 06 Aug 17 - 04:43 PM

Hi,

"Madam" is also known as a children's song in North America-- the following examples correspond to the time of the UK versions by Gomme, published 1894.

From Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, Volume 37, 1886.

Song Games and Myth Dramas at Washington,
by W. H. Babcock

There are other ring—games in which love does not divide the interest with death, but forms the sole subject-matter. In one of these what must have been originally a dialogue is blended into a continuous song, in which all join:

Here she stands, a lovely creature;
Who she is I do not know.

Madam, I have gold and silver,
Madam, I have ships on the ocean,
Madam, I have house and land.

What care I for your gold and silver?
What care I for ships on the ocean?
What care I for house and land?
All I want is a fine young man.

Then a member of the ring is selected by the one in the middle to take his or her place.

* * * *

Journal of American Folklore, Volume 31, 1917.

"Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario" by F.W. Waugh

Play Rhymes

A Cornwall informant quotes (Dec. 11, 1909) a version formerly heard at Colborne, Ont., which he supposes to be Irish.

"Here sits a Spanish lady,
Who she is I do not know.
Come and court her for her beauty,
Whether she say yes or no."

The next verse began, –

"Madam, I have come a-courting,
Your kind favor to obtain."

The young man set forth his qualifications: —

"Madam, I have gold and silver,
Madam, I have houses and land;
Madam, I have ships on the ocean,
And they're all at your command."

The lady then scornfully remarked,

"What care I for your gold and silver?
What care I for your houses and land?
What care I for ships on the ocean?
All I want is a nice young man."

The young man then returned, –

"Madam, I have gold, etc.,
And, besides, I'm a nice young man," —

after which they both lived happily.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 10:37 PM

Hi,

I'm wondering about he source of the Irish song, "The Spanish Lady." Here's a standard set of text:

Spanish Lady

As I went down to Dublin city,
at the hour of twelve at night,
Who should I see but a Spanish lady,
washing her feet by candlelight.
First she washed them,
then she dried them over a fire of amber coal,
In all my life I ne'er did see
a maid so sweet about the soul

CHORUS:
Whack fol the toora, toora laddy
Whack fol the foora loora lay

As I came back through Dublin city
at the hour of half past eight
Who should I spy but the Spanish lady
brushing her hair in the broad daylight.
First she tossed it, then she brushed it,
on her lap was a silver comb
In all my life I ne'er did see
a maid so fair since I did roam. CHORUS

As I went back through Dublin city
as the sun began to set
Who should I spy but the Spanish lady
catching a moth in a golden net.
When she saw me then she fled me
lifting her petticoat over her knee
In all my life I ne'er did see
a maid so shy as the Spanish lady. CHORUS

I've wandered north and I've wandered south
through Stonybatter and Patrick's Close
Up and around the Gloucester Diamond
and back by Napper Tandy's house.
Old age has laid her hand on me
cold as a fire of ashy coals
In all my life I ne'er did see
a maid so sweet as the Spanish lady. CHORUS

I can't see any relationship with this and the courting song, "Madam" or the "No Sir" or "Oh No" versions that have Spanish Captain stanza. Is there any relationship?

Obviously the "counting chorus" or "Twenty, Eighteen" has been added (see Frank Harte's version) and sometimes the Wheel of Fortune stanza is added after (see the Scottish "Wheel of Fortune" above) to extend the chorus.

In this Scottish version the beginning of the Irish "Spanish Lady" is used:   

Spanish Lady - sung by Mary Cruickshank of Aberdeenshire; collectd Greig, published in 1910.

As I went up thro' Edinburgh city, half-past twelve o'clock at night,
There I spied a Spanish lady dressing herself with candle light.

She had a basin full of water and a towel into her hand.
Five gold rings on every finger, like an angel she did stand.

Oh she was a charming creature, what she is I do not know.
But I'll go court her for her beauty, whether she be high or low.

"Madam, I am come to court you, if your favour I could gain.
If you gently entertain me maybe I'll come back again."

"Sit ye doon, ye're harty welcome, whether ye come back or no.
All I want is a handsome young man whether he be high or low."

"Madam, ye talk much of beauty, that's a flower will soon decay.
The fairest flower in all the summer, when winter comes it doth fade away."

* * * *

Joseph Campbell included two stanzas of The Spanish Lady that he took down in Donegal in 1911 in his play:

Judgment: A Play in Two Acts
By Joseph Campbell, 1912

The Stranger breaks into a verse of a song.

As I walked down thro' Dublin City
At the hour of twelve in the night,
Who should I see but a Spanish lady
Washing her feet by candlelight.

First she washed them, and then she dried them
Over a fire of amber coal:
Never in all my life did I see
A maid. . .

John (endeavouring to talk the song down). When'll the coffin be here, Owen?
Stranger. Can't you listen? It's a good song.

Never in all my life did I see
A maid so neat about the sole!


* * * *

So what is the earliest source of this Irish "Spanish Lady" text?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 09 Aug 17 - 07:06 PM

Hi,

I have some info supplied by Steve Gardham. The two stanzas of Campbell's poem (above) are from tradition. The rest was recreated by Campbell and has become the Irish song "The Spanish Lady." The two traditional stanzas are:

As I walked down thro' Dublin City
At the hour of twelve in the night,
Who should I see but a Spanish lady
Washing her feet by candlelight.

First she washed them, and then she dried them
Over a fire of amber coal:
Never in all my life did I see
A maid so neat about the sole!

An intermediate arrangement such as the one Campbell collected was also used in the Scottish versions of the Spanish Lady (see Grieg's version in last post).

An antecedent of the two stanzas collected by Campbell is found in the erotic folksong collection of the late 18th century, "The Frisky Songster." The 1776 edition is found online in the Jack Horntip Collection. It was first printed circa 1770 in London, or Dublin. Reprint copies include (1776) Bodleian, Harding Collection; (1802), Kinsey-ISR Library. Here are the first stanzas which compare to Campbell's version and to the Scottish versions:

SONG LXXXIII.

AS I went through London city,
Twas at twelve o'clock at night,
There I saw a damsel pretty,
Washing her joke by candle-light.

When she wash'd it then she dr'd it,
The hair was black as coal upon it
In all my lif I never saw,
A girl who had so fine a c--t.

The remainder of the bawdy song is not applicable to the evolution of the stanzas which become The Spanish Lady. The song was reprinted in "The Merry Muses: A Choice Collection of Favourite Songs Gathered by Robert Burns" in 1827 as "The Ride in London" with the same text: https://books.google.com/books?id=XZVkAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA115&dq=%22AS+I+went+through+London+city%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3u-K_1MzV

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 09:05 AM

Hi,

"Spanish Lady" by Joseph Campbell (1879-1944)

As I went out through Dublin City,
At the hour of twelve o´clock at night,
Who should I see but a Spanish lady,
Washing her feet by candle light.
First she washed them and then she dried them,
Over a fire of ambery coal,
In all my life I never did see,
A maid so neat about the sole.

I stopped to peep but the watchman passed,
And says, "Young fellow, the night is late,
Get home to bed or I'll wrastle you,
At a double trot through the Bridewell gate!
So I waved a kiss to the Spanish lady
Hot as the fire of cramsey coals
I've seen dark maids though never one
So white and neat about the sole.

Oh she´s too rich for a poddle swaddy
With her tortoise comb and her mantle fine
A hellfire buck would fit her better,
Drinking brandy and claret wine.
I'm just a decent college sizar,
Poor as a sod of smouldering coal,
And how would I dress the Spanish lady,
And she so neat about the sole?

O, she'd make a mott for the Provost Marshal,
Or a wife for the Mayor in his coach so high,
Or a queen of Andalusia,
Kicking her heel in the Cardinal's eye.
I'm as blue as cockles, brown as herrings,
Over a grid of glimmery coal,
And all because of the Spanish lady,
So mortial neat about the sole.

I wandered north and I wandered south,
By Golden Lane and Patrick's Close,
The Coombe, Smithfield and Stoneybatter,
Back by Napper Tandy's house.
Old age has laid its hand upon me
Cold as a fire of ashy coal
And where is the lovely Spanish lady
The maid so neat about the sole?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 03:15 PM

"Poddle" rather than "Poodle", methinks - it's a Dublin river. To me, "swaddy" should be "squaddy" - but I've a vague memory of another argument?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM

Hi,

TY Martin- it is poddle (my typo) and I'll fix that. It's also "swaddy" and tho it could be "squaddy" it's not the way Campbell's original text appears,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 04:03 PM

Pete Coe explains in the liner notes of his recent CD The Man in the Red Van:

A 'Poddle swaddy' is a local working class lad [from Poddle, a small river in Dublin], a 'mott' is a girl friend or mistress and a 'sizar' is a poor scholarship student at Trinity College.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:03 PM

Hi,

The name, "Spanish Lady" is found in several variants:

1) Scottish (Grieg-Duncan) and Irish traditional versions presented above from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These versions suggest an intermediary antecedent rewritten from the bawdy print version of the late 1700s.
2) Campbell's poem and subsequent versions based on Campbell's poem.
3) Some versions of "Oh No John."
4) The Mary Wakefield version of "No Sir" as well as subsequent version based on it.
5) Traditional versions of "No Sir."
6) Versions of "Madam" with Spanish Lady replacing "Lovely Creature" (see for example, Cox's "Spanish Lady" in Folk Songs from the South, dated 1916 but years earlier).

Although we don't know when Spanish Lady replaced the "pretty maid" of the bawdy songs, it must have happened by the early 1800s to have been distributed to remote areas of America, Ireland and Scotland.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 13 Aug 17 - 08:39 AM

Hi,

Scotland and Ireland were not the only source of the "Spanish Lady" opening stanza. Here's is a version from Five English Folk Songs taken from Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Dec., 1934), pp. 130-137:

TWENTY, EIGHTEEN [MADAM, I HAVE COME TO COURT YOU.]
Sung by FRED YELDHAM, July 12th, 1911, and on Oct. 5th, 1911 by Mrs. Hollingsworth, Thaxted. Noted by CLIVE CAREY.

1. As I walked through London city
After twelve o'clock at night,
There I saw a Spanish lady
Washing and ironing by candle light.

CHORUS: Fal the ral the riddle al the ray-do,
Fal the ral the rid-dle all the day,
Fal the ral the rid-dle all the ray-do,
Fal lal la the rid-dle all the day.

Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, none;
Nine-teen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen, eleven, nine, seven, five, three, and one.

2. Madam I have come to court you
If your favour I should win;
If you make me kindly welcome
Then perhaps I'll come again.
Chorus, etc.

3. Madam I've got rings and jewels,
Madam I've got house and land,
Madam I've the world of treasure,
If you'll be at my command.
Chorus, etc.

4. What care I for your rings and jewels,
What care I for your house and land,
What care I for your world of treasure,
All I want is a handsome man.
Chorus, etc.

5. Madam you trust much in beauty,
Beauty dies and fades away.
The finest flower in the garden growing,
Summer goes it fades away.
Chorus, etc.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 14 Aug 17 - 09:45 PM

Hi,

The original (c.1760s) broadsides of "Madam" must have been popular in England by the 1850s. In his 1846 book, "The Nursery Rhymes of England, obtained principally from oral tradition," Halliwell gives this English version:

"MADAM, I am come to court you,
If your favour I can gain."
"Ah, ah!" said she, "you are a bold fellow,
If I e'er see your face again!"

"Madam, I have rings and diamonds,
Madam, I have houses and land,
Madam, I have a world of treasure,
All shall be at your command."

"I care not for rings and diamonds,
I care not for houses and lands,
I care not for a world of treasure,
So that I have but a handsome man."

"Madam, you think much of beauty,
Beauty hasteneth to decay,
For the fairest of flowers that grow in summer
Will decay and fade away.

Although missing the opening stanza, this short version has many of the core stanzas. It was published in several of editions of Nursery songs in 1846 and reprinted many times. In 1911 a version of "Madam" was titled after the Ripest Apple stanza. It was collected from Hampshire gypsies by Alice Gillington and published in her 1911 book of gypsy songs titled, "Songs of the Open Road":

Ripe is the Apple Love

Ripe is the apple love, that soon will be rotten, love,
Hot is the love that will soon be cold,
Young man's beauty will soon be forgotten,
Maids take care be not too bold.

"O madam, O madam, I have gold and silver,
Madam, O madam, I have houses and land;
Madam, O madam, I've a world of treasure,
And to be at your command!"

What care I for the world of treasure,
What care I for the houses and land?
What care I for rings and silver,
So all I gain is a handsome man?

Handsome men are out of fashion!
Young women's beauty will not stay!
like the fairest flower in the midst of summer
It will die and fade away.

Subsequently other songs with the Ripest Apple stanza were sometimes titled "Ripest Apple." According to Steve Gardham the Roud master title for "Madam" is "Ripest Apple" although it is at best a secondary stanza. An example of a version from the 1960s follows. Here is a version correctly titled Ripest Apples that was collected from Copper family:

   Ripest Apples

Ripest apples soon gets rotten,
Hottest love it soon gets cold.
Young man's love is soon forgotten.
Since the girls have been so bold.

Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen.
Twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, none.
Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen.
Eleven, nine, seven, five, three and one.

Though I never went to college, but I heard the poet say:
Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, none.

The notes for Veteran Recording VT115 say: In 'The Copper Family Song Book - A Living Tradition' (1995) Bob Copper, while relating to his family's version of this song, says that this was the shortest song Jim (Copper) knew and he had developed a terrific speed in the chorus ' … Twenty, eighteen, etc.', and thereby frequently qualified for the free pint of beer offered by the landlord of the local inn to be first man to sing a song."

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 07:28 AM

Hi,

The fact that "Madam" was sung in Virginia c. 1780 shows that the two English broadsides of c. 1760s were probably not the earliest prints.

There are a number of significant versions of "Madam" from North America as well as a traditional stanza from "Madam, I Have Come to Court You" which dates this song to the late 1700s in the US. In 1822 Virginia Congressman and Senator John Randolph (1773-1833) born in Cawsons, Virginia, wrote his niece and asked if she had heard a ballad with the following verse that he had heard as a child:

What care I for your golden treasures?
What care I for your house and land?
What care I for your costly pleasures?
So as I get but a handsome man.

This dates the song to c.1780 in Virginia. To reach America "Madam" would have to first be tradition in England and then have been brought to Virginia-- events that took time in the 1700s. The first full US version, "Yonder Stands a Handsome Lady" was collected from the journal of the Diana, a ship harbored in New York under Captain Hay in 1819. Here's the text from Hungtington's "Songs the Whalemen Sang":

Yonder stands a handsome lady
Who she is I do not know
Shall I yon and court her for her beauty
What says you madam yes or no.

Madam I have gold and silver
Madam I have house and land
Madam I have a world of treasures
And all shall be at your command

What care I for your gold and silver
What care I for your house and land
What care I for your world of treasures
All I want is a handsome man

Madam do not count on beauty
Beauty is a flower that will soon decay
The brightest flower in the midst of summer
In the fall it will fade away.

The sweetest apple soon is rotten
The hottest love now soon is cold
A young man's word is soon forgotten
The coffin is the end of young and old.

A man may drink and not be drunken
A man may fight and not be slain
A man may court a handsome lady,
And be welcome there again.

The verses are standard except the last verse which is similarly found in Barnyards of Delgaty. This version also was probably known in the 1700s in America.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 11:00 AM

Richie, even in the 18th century songs could cross the Atlantic in weeks. Printed versions could easily have been taken across by migrants and they do spread rapidly. Many migrants headed west to make their fortunes. It may well have been that your Virginia congressman's family brought a printed copy over.

Example, early 19th century German ballad translated into French and enters oral tradition, next turns up in Portugal, In the late 19th century is collected in oral tradition alive and well in Brasil.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 09:51 PM

Hi Steve,

The Randolph stanza from c.1780 seemed like it's much older since it was sung to him then by a "mulatto servant girl of my Cousin Patsy Banister, called Patience. . ." Since Randolph was born in Virginia, he didn't bring it over. Here's the complete excerpt from "John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833: A Biography. . ." by William Cabell Bruce - 1922:

A peculiar intimacy existed between John and one of the younger Banisters, and, in a letter to his niece, Elizabeth Tucker Coalter, dated Feb. 20, 1822, he furnishes us with some interesting evidence of his familiar footing, when a boy, with his Banister kin. "Do you know," he asks her, "a ballad that used to be sung to me, when I was a child, by a mulatto servant girl of my Cousin Patsy Banister, called Patience, about a rich suitor offering 'his lands so broad' and his golden store to a girl of spirit whose reply was somehow thus?

What care I for your golden treasures?
What care I for your house and land?
What care I for your costly pleasures?
So as I get but a handsome man.

Perhaps, old Aggy, who was my dear and honored mother's hand-maiden in 1769, when my father led her a spotless and blushing virgin to the altar, can remember it. I pry' thee get me that ballad. I can give you the tune." What could be more, to use one of Randolph's own phrases, a la Virginienne than the figures which this delightful scrap of retrospection brings before us; the "sassy" yellow girl disdainfully tossing her head, and yet but partly smothering the amorous glow behind her half-closed lids as she sings, the aged retainer, of whom we shall hear more anon, handed down from mother to daughter, and from daughter to granddaughter, and cherished not only for the sake of her own dog-like fidelity and simple virtues, but for the sake of the sacred dead, whose tire-woman she first was, and the old slave-holder, for even at forty-eight John Randolph was an old man in everything but years, still carrying in his memory, the words, and in his heart, the melody, of the bye-gone plantation ditty, unheard by his material ear, except perhaps when hummed by himself, for upwards of forty winters.


Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:25 PM

Whilst there is is every possibility that the song is older than 1760 there is also equally every possibility that the song came over, either in print or orally, in about 1760 with English migrants and the servant girl had picked it up from one of them. Until further evidence presents itself the Aldermary Churchyard version at about 1760 is the oldest we can date it.

>>>seemed like it's much older<<< Is this a genuine feeling or just wishful thinking? Remember the 'Billy and Sally' incident which turned out to be a double hoax?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 08:02 PM

Hi Steve,

Patsy (Bland) Banister was born in Virginia in 1739 and died about the time her cousin John Randolph learned the stanza of "Madam." Her husband John Banister, was Delegate to Continental Congress and it was her servant, called Patience, that knew the ballad. I doubt the date when Patience learned the ballad that Randolph heard about 1780 will ever be known. Randolph, however, thought that it would have been known by the older servants indicating that at least he thought it to be older and local.

Since he was there and he heard the ballad sung, I defer to his assessment that Elizabeth Coalter might find the ballad sung by Old Aggy, his mother's handmaiden in 1769. Randolph thought the ballad to be older and passed down by the servants.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 09:22 PM

Hi,

This version of the Spanish Lady" is found in "Folk Songs of Middle Tennessee: The George Boswell Collection" edited by Charles K. Wolfe- 1997; also in "Bulletin - Volumes 42" - Page 140, 1974. "Carbon City" is found in the US but it resembles Frank Harte's "Chester City." Here's a rare version from North America:

"The Spanish Lady" sung by Nancy McCuddy Stevenson of Clarksville, TN on Dec. 5, 1953, learned from her father. (Compare the ending with Clancy Brothers version)

1. I went down to Carbon City,
Twelve or one o'clock at night,
There I saw a Spanish lady,
Dressing by the candlelight.

CHORUS: Larry a-ma-lowdin, liden, looden,
Larry a-ma-1owdin liden lay.

2. With a vessel of cold water
And a mirror in her hand,
With her hair down over her shoulders,
Like an angel she did stand.
Chorus:

3. I can drink and not get drowsy,
I can fight and not get slain.
I can court a Spanish lady
And be welcome back again
Chorus:

4. Did you ever see a pewter vessel,
Mended with a copper pan?
Did you ever see a Spanish lady,
Married to an Irishman?
Chorus:

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 10:56 AM

Hi,

The other important arrangement of Spanish Lady (Spanish Lady V) was made by Irish composer Herbert Hughes (May 16, 1882– May 1, 1937).

The Spanish Lady. "Old Song." Adapted and arranged by H. Hughes. Dedicated to Hugh Campbell Stracathro. Publisher: London and New York : Boosey & Co, 1930. The 1930 recording with Hughes playing piano and McCafferty singing can be heard here: https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/cid-230911

I walked down thro' Dublin city
At the hour of twelve at night,
who should I spy but a Spanish lady
Washing her feet by candlelight.

First she washed them and then she dried them,
Over a fire of ambery coal,
In all my life I ne'er did see,
A maid so neat about the sole.

CHORUS: Whack for the toora, loora lady
Whack for the toora loora lee.
Whack for the toora, loora lady
Whack for the toora loora lee.

As I came back thro' Dublin city
At the hour of half past eight
Who should I spy but a Spanish lady
Brushing her hair in broad daylight.

First she tossed it, then she brushed it,
On her lap was a silver comb
In all my life I ne'er did see
So fair a maid since I did roam.

CHORUS:

As I went down thro' Dublin city,
When the sun began to set,
Who should I see but the Spanish lady
Catching a moth in a golden net.

When she saw me, then she fled me
Lifting her petticoat over the knee
In all my life I ne'er did spy
A maid so blithe as the Spanish lady!

CHORUS:

Hughes text has also entered tradition. There are five specific variants of the Spanish Lady, some used in the courting songs:

Spanish Lady I: Derived from the 1776 bawdy song which has been reworked. The first two stanzas are found in tradition with Spanish Lady instead of "pretty maid" and are followed by stanzas of "Madam" sometimes with the "Twenty-Eighteen" chorus and/or other choruses.
Spanish Lady II: The Spanish Lady as found in "No Sir" and "Oh No, John." She is the daughter of a Spanish merchant or Spanish sailor or captain.
Spanish Lady III: The Spanish Lady found as the poem of the same title by Irish poet Joseph Campbell based off the first two stanzas he collected of Spanish Lady I. Campbell's poem is sung and has entered tradition and is sometime sung with the "Twenty-Eighteen" chorus and/or other choruses.
Spanish Lady IV: The name "Spanish Lady" is found replacing "lovely creature" in a number of versions including children's game songs. "Here sits a Spanish lady" [JAF, Ontario, 1909 children's song]; See also Cox, Folk Songs of the South, 1925.
Spanish Lady V: An arrangement with new text of Spanish Lady for piano and voice by Irish composer Herbert Hughes. It was based on the first two stanzas (1911) supplied by Joseph Campbell from tradition. Hughes text also has entered tradition.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 11:05 AM

Some of these Campbells (if not all) should be 'Joseph'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 11:24 AM

Hi,

TY Steve, will make that correction,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 11:24 AM

Hi,

Making sense of the many variations of Spanish Lady is not easy. The Dubliners and also the Clancy Brothers (with Tommy Makem) both have similar arrangements that combine both Campbell's poem and Hughes arrangement. Here's my transcription of Clancy Brothers:

Spanish Lady- Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers from "Irish Pub Songs."

[instrumental, fiddle]

As I came into Dublin city,
At the hour of twelve at night,
Who should I spy but a Spanish lady,
Washing her feet by candlelight.
First she washed them, then she dried them
Over a fire of ambery coal,
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so sweet about the sole.

CHORUS:
Whack fol the toora, toora laddy
Whack fol the foora loora lay (2x)

As I came back through Dublin city
At the hour of half past eight
Who should I spy but the Spanish lady
Brushing her hair in the broad daylight.
First she brushed it, then she tossed it,
On her lap was a silver comb
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so sweet since I did roam.

CHORUS

As [yet again] I came back through Dublin city
As the sun began to set
Who should I spy but the Spanish lady
Catching a moth in a golden net.
When she saw me then she fled me
Lifting her petticoat o'er her knee
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so fair as the Spanish lady.

CHORUS

I've wandered north and I've wandered south
Through Stonybatter and Patrick's Close
Up and around the Gloucester Diamond
Back by Napper Tandy's house.
But old age has laid her hand on me [tempo slows]
Cold as a fire of ashy coal
But where is the lovely Spanish lady
Neat and sweet about the sole.

CHORUS 2X [original tempo]

* * * *

A second version, "Galway City" with stanzas of "Madam" was recorded by the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem in New York in 1965 and appears on their 1966, "Isn't It Grand Boys" album. Tommy Makem got it from: "Sean O'Boyle, the well-known folk collector and Gaelic scholar" [born June 14, 1946 in Armagh, Ireland].

Galway City- Clancy Brothers from Sean O'Boyle of Armahg

(He:) As I walked out through Galway City
At the hour of twelve at night,
Whom should I spy but a handsome damsel,
Combing her hair by candlelight.

Lassie, I have come a-courting,
Your kind favors for to win,
And if you'd but smile upon me,
Next Sunday night I'll call again.

Chorus: Raddy at a toodum, toodum, toodum,
Raddy at a toodum, toodum day.
Raddy at a toodum, toodum, toodum,
Raddy at a toodum, toodum day.

(She:) So to me you came a-courting,
My kind favors for to win,
But 'twould give me the greatest pleasure
If you never did call again.

What would I do, when I go walking,
Walking out in the morning dew?
What would I do when I go walking,
Walking out with a lad like you?
Chorus.

(He:) Lassie, I have gold and silver,
Lassie, I have houses and land.
Lassie, I have ships on the ocean,
They'll be all at your command.

(She:) What do I care with your ships on the ocean?
What do I care with your houses and land?
What do I care with your gold and silver?
All's I want is a handsome man.
Chorus

(He:) Did you ever see the grass in the morning,
All bedecked with jewels rare?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie,
Diamonds sparkling in her hair?

(She:) Did you ever see a copper kettle,
Mended with an old tin can?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie
Married off to an ugly man?

Note the last stanza is similar to the one collected in Tennessee in 1953 (see above).

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 12:47 PM

Hi,

Here are two versions of "Madam, I'm a Darling," also known as "Chester City" (see DT link). The "Madam, I'm a Darling" title is named after the chorus which, in turn, is ironically similar to the words "Madam I'm come a courting." It was recorded in 1975 and is on the "Frank Harte: . . . and Listen To My Song" LP. Here are his notes:

MADAM I'M A DARLING — This is another version of the type of song similar to the Spanish Lady. I have no idea of its origin or of the reference in the first line to "Chester City". I heard the song at a session in Kerry where it is Rabelaisian humour was much to the delight of the locals. I am sure that if this song had been collected in Victorian times it would have been stripped of its honest humour to suit the taste of the drawing room, as has been done with the Spanish Lady and so many of the English and Scottish ballads. I give it to you as I heard and enjoyed it. Another version called "As I strayed Through Dublin City" is very similar to this song.

Madam, I'm a Darling (Chester City)- sung by Frank Harte, 1975

As I came down to Chester City,
In the dark hour late at night
Who should I meet but a fair young maiden
Washing her clothes by the broad moon light

Chorus: Madam I'm a darling a-di-ro-didero
       Madam I'm a darling a-di-ro-dee

First she washed them, then she squeezed them
Then she hung them up to dry
Then she folded up her arms
Saying what a nice young girl am I!

Going to the well for a pail of water
Bringing it home for to make the tea
She fell over, I fell under
All the game was above the knee

Madam I will tie your garter,
I'll tie it above the knee
If you like, I'll tie it up farther
Madam I'm a darling a di-ro-dee

Madam you have gold and silver
Madam, you have tracts of land
Madam you ships on the ocean
All you need is a nice young man!

It also appears in "Songs of Dublin" edited by Frank Harte in 1978.

* * * *

A second version can be heard here:
http://www.dublincity.ie/songs-murder-madams-and-mayhem/madam-im-darling They've changed the city to Dublin City.

Madam, I'm a Darling." Performed by Anne and Niamh Buckley

As I rode out through Dublin city
It being the dark hour twelve at night
Who should I see but a fair young maiden
Washing her clothes in the pale moon light

Chorus (after each verse):
Madam, I'm a darling, a di ro, a dither o
Madam, I'm a darling, a di ro dae

First she washed them, then she squeezed them
And then she hung them out to dry
Then she folded up her arms
Saying what a nice, young girl am I.

Going to the well for a pale of water
Fetching it home for to make some tae [tea]
She fell over, I fell under
All the game was above her knee

Madam, I will tie your garter
I will tie it above your knee
And if you like I'll tie it up further
Madam, I'm a darling, a di ro de
Madam, I'm a darling, a di ro de

Have you ever heard of cups and saucers
Rattlin' around in an auld tin can?
Have you ever heard of a fair, young maiden
Married to an ugly, gray old man?

And blue it is a lovely colour
Until it gets the second dip
Well that's the way with the old man courting
You never know till he gets those fits

Madam, you have gold and silver
And madam, you have tracks of land
Madam you have ships on the ocean
All you need is a fine, young man.

There is an additional stanza associated with Spanish Lady/Madam that begins: "And blue it is a lovely colour" See a similar stanza in the several of versions of the "Madam" family ("Madam, Madam, You Came Courting" sung by William Gilkie, Sambro, NS, September, 1950). The "Madam, I will tie your garter" stanza is common to the "Oh No John" songs.

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 05:56 PM

Hi,

Another "Spanish Lady" variant is "Ettrick Lady" recorded by the Scottish folk group the Corries in 1975. This version is a re-write of "Galway City," a variant of "Madam" that Tommy Makem got from Irishman Sean O'Boyle (see original above).

Ettrick Lady- sung by The Corries from the Album: Live from Scotland Volume 2; 1975

[Mando solo]

As I gang doon the Ettrick Highway
At the hour o' twelve at night;
What should I spy but a handsome lassie,
Combin' her hair by candlelight.

Lassie, I have come a-courtin',
Your kind favors for to win;
And if you but smile upon me,
Next Sunday night I'll call again.

CHORUS: Falla-talla ru-dum, ru-dum, ru-u-dum;
Falla-talla ru-dum, ru-dum-day! (2X)

So to me you came a-courtin',
My kind favors for to win;
But 'twould give me the greatest pleasure
If you never would call again!

What would I do, when I go walking,
Walking out in the Ettrick view;
What would I do when I go walking,
Walkin' oot wi' a laddie like you?

- Chorus -

Lassie, I have gold and silver,
Lassie I have houses and land
Lassie, I have ships on the ocean,
They'll be all at your command.

What do I care for your ships on the ocean?
What do I care for your houses and land?
What do I care for your gold and silver?
When all I want is a handsome man!

- Chorus - [mando solo]

Did you ever see the grass in the mornin',
All bedecked with jewels rare?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie,
Diamonds sparkling in her hair?

Did you ever see a copper kettle,
Mended wi' an auld tin can?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie
Married up tae an ugly man?

- Chorus- (2x)

* * * *

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Madam, I Have Come To Court You
From: Richie
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 08:31 PM

Hi,

Frank Harte sang The Spanish Lady in 1973 on his Topic LP "Through Dublin City." Harte said in the album liner notes:

    For too long this fine old Dublin song has been sung mainly by choral groups and concert sopranos. I remember the song from childhood and it has grown as I heard verses of it year after year. In some versions the last verse ends—

       She had 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 none
       She had 19 17 15 13 11 9 7 5 3 and 1,

    meaning "she had the odds and the evens of it"—- in other words she had everything.

The Spanish Lady- sung by Frank Harte at The Trinity Inn on June 12, 1998.
Listen: https://www.itma.ie/goilin/song/spanish_lady_frank_harte

As I was a-walking through Dublin City
About the hour of twelve at night,
It was there I saw a fair pretty female
Washing her feet by candlelight.

First she washed them and then she dried them
Around her shoulder she pegged a towel,
And in all me life I never did see
A maid so neat about the sole.

CHORUS: She had 20 18 16 14, 12 10 8 6 4 2 none,
She had 19 17 15 13, 11 9 7 5 3 and 1.

Well I stopped to look but the watchman passed
"Say, young fellow, the night is late
Along with you home or I will wrassle you
Straightway though the Bridewell Gate."

I got a look from the Spanish lady
Hot as the fire of ambry coals
And in all my life I never did see
A maid so neat about the sole.

CHORUS:

As I walked back through Dublin City
As the dawn of day was o'er
Oh, who should I spy but the Spanish lady
When I was weary and footsore.

She had a heart so filled with loving
And her love she longed to share,
And in all my life I never did meet with
A maid who had so much to spare.

CHORUS

Well, I've wandered north and I've wandered south
By Stoney Batter and Patrick's Close;
And up and around by the Gloucester Diamond
Back by Napper Tandy's house.

But old age has laid her hands upon me
Cold as a fire of ashy coals
But gone is the lovely Spanish lady
Neat and sweet about her sole.

CHORUS

2ND CHORUS: And round and round goes the Wheel of fortune,
Where it rests it wearies me,
Young maid's hearts are so uncertain,
Sad experience teaches me.

CHORUS

Richie


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