Child Waters [Child 63]

DESCRIPTION: Ellen tells Child Waters she bears his child. Offered two shires of land, she would prefer one kiss. He rides; she runs, swims; as his page, she brings a lady for his bed, gives birth in the stable. He hears her wish him well and herself dead; he relents
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1765 (Percy)
KEYWORDS: courting pregnancy love disguise childbirth
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (21 citations):
Child 63, "Child Waters" (11 texts, 1 tune)
Bronson 63, "Child Waters" (3 versions)
BronsonSinging 63, "Child Waters" (2 versions: #1, #2)
ChambersBallads, pp. 172-179, "Burd Helen" (1 text)
GordonBrown/Rieuwerts, pp. 142-151, "Burd Ellen/Lord John and Bird Ellen" (2 parallel texts)
Percy/Wheatley III, pp. 58-65, "Child Waters" (1 text)
GreigDuncan6 1229, "Fair Ellen" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Flanders-Ancient2, pp. 76-81, "Child Waters" (1 text, titled "Earl Walter," from the 1818 "Charms of Melody" rather than tradition)
Randolph 13, "The Little Page Boy" (1 fragmentary text, 1 tune, which Randolph places here though it also has lines from the "Cospatrick" version of "Gil Brenton" and which is so short it might go with something else) {Bronson's #3}
BrownII 17, "Child Waters" (1 text)
BrownSchinhanIV 17, "Child Waters" (notes only)
Leach, pp. 201-205, "Child Waters" (1 text)
OBB 46, "Childe Waters" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 122, "Child Waters" (1 text)
PBB 47, "Child Waters" (1 text)
Gummere, pp. 241-246+354-355, "Child Waters" (1 text)
DBuchan 10, "Child Waters" (1 text)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 178-181, "Burd Helen" (1 text)
Morgan-Medieval, pp. 95-99, "Childe Waters" (1 text)
TBB 4, "Child Waters" (1 text)

Roud #43
Fair Margaret
Lord William and Lady Margaret
Burd Ellen
NOTES: Chambers is the source of the Whitelaw-Ballads text (Robert Chambers, The Scottish Ballads (Edinburgh:William Tate, 1829 ("Digitized by Microsoft")), pp. 172-180, "Burd Helen").
In his notes to the text Chambers writes, "Mr Jamieson long afterwards [referring to Percy's publication of "Child Waters"; see Child 63A] published a Scottish version, under the title of 'Burd Ellen,' from the recitation of a lady of the name of Brown [see Child 63B]; adding some fragments of another copy, which he had taken down from the singing of Mrs Arrot of Aberbrothwick [see Child 63F]. Mr Kinloch has more lately given, under the title of 'Lady Margaret,' an imperfect copy [see Child 63C], superior in some points to that of Mr Jamieson; and more recently still, Mr Buchan, in his 'Ancient Ballads and Songs,' [see Child 63J] has presented a very complete one, which he entitles 'Burd Helen.' The present editor, in compiling this copy, has used not only all the above, more or less, but has been indebted for some valuable verses and lines to one which has been obligingly submitted to him in manuscript by Mr Kinloch [Child 63D?]. He has found in a few cases so much difficulty in selecting and associating the various ingredients of his ballads as in this: there being, in no other instance, so great a discrepancy in the various sets, while in a few he has had to deal with so many imperfect and meagre versions."
Chambers goes on to describe other changes he made to build his composite. [footnote, pp. 179-180]. - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C063

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