Clerk Colvill [Child 42]

DESCRIPTION: (Clerk Colvill) is warned (by his mother/lover) not to be too free with women. He refuses the advice; "Did I neer see a fair woman, But I wad sin with her body?" A woman gives him a fatal headache and turns into a mermaid to avoid being killed by him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1769 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: sex sin courting infidelity magic death
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Child 42, "Clerk Colvill" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Bronson 42, "Clerk Colvill" (1 version)
BronsonSinging 42, "Clerk Colvill" (1 version)
GordonBrown/Rieuwerts, pp. 216-217, "Clark Colven" (1 text, plus a copy of the transcribed tune and a modern reprint for clarity; there are two tune reconstructions on pp. 293-294)
Leach, pp. 149-150, "Clerk Colville" (1 text)
OBB 29, "Clerk Colven" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 30, "Clerk Colvill" (1 text, which includes textual interpolations heretofore unpublished)
Gummere, pp. 197-199+347-348, "Clerk Colven" (1 text)
Hodgart, p. 39, "Clerk Colvill" (1 text)
DT 42, CLRKCLVL

Roud #147
NOTES: A number of scholars (Coffin, Lloyd, Bronson) have speculated that "Clerk Colvill" is actually a fragment of a longer ballad, "George Collins," with "Lady Alice" [Child 85] forming the rest. See the discussion in the notes to "Lady Alice."
Bertrand Harris Bronson, The Ballad as Song (essays on ballads), University of California Press, 1969, p. 42, studying the text and tune of this, suggests that the tune collected from Mrs. Brown must have had an internal refrain, the text of which was not taken down. This apparently was a habit of the transcriber; he omitted the internal refrains of "Clerk Colvill," "Gil Brenton," and "Willie's Lady." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C042

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.