Young Hunting [Child 68]

DESCRIPTION: (Young Hunting) goes riding, and meets his love. She bids him come in; he says he cannot, for he must meet another love. She kills him. She is then told (by a bird?) that "he had no love but thee." But all she cares about is hiding the body
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: love betrayal homicide death burial bird
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Bord)) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So,SW) Canada(Mar) Ireland West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (56 citations):
Child 68, "Young Hunting" (11 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #34}
Bronson 68, "Young Hunting" (43 versions, though a few are fragments which may belong with some other song)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 68, "Young Hunting" (8 versions: #2, #4, #6, #13, #27, #34, #37, #41)
Chambers-ScottishBallads, pp. 224-230, "Young Huntin" (1 text)
Lyle/McAlpine/McLucas-SongRepertoireOfAmeliaAndJaneHarris, pp. 38-47, "Young Reedin/Young Riedan" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #34}
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume1 37, "Earl Richard" (1 text, 1 tune)
Buchan/Moreira-TheGlenbuchatBallads, pp. 147-151, "Young Huntley" (1 text)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 122-128, "Young Hunting" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
Wells-TheBalladTree, pp. 152-154, "Young Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland2, pp. 87-88, "Young Hunting" (1 tune, with no text at all but reported to be this) {Bronson's #7}
Grimes-StoriesFromTheAnneGrimesCollection, pp. 28-29, "Lass of Roch Royal" (1 text, 1 tune, listed as Child #76 but appearing to be a fragment of "Young Hunting" [Child #68] with the "Pretty Little Foot" verses attached)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 34-37, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Randolph 14, "Lord Henry and Lady Margaret" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #18}
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 28-31, "Lord Henry and Lady Margaret" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 14A) {Bronson's #18}
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, pp. 60-61, "Love Henry" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson #19}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 17, "Young Hunting" (5 texts plus a fragment; all the texts seem somewhat mixed, and "E" clearly has verses from "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight"; 4 tunes entitled "Sir Henry and Lady Margaret," "Young Hunting," "Lord Henry"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #20, #22, #16, #28}
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 17, pp. 111-122, "Young Hunting" (6 texts, 5 tunes)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 18, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 18, "Young Hunting" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 8, "Young Hunting" (2 texts, one short; 1 tune) {Bronson's #42)
Smith-SouthCarolinaBallads, #IV, pp. 107-108, "Young Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, pp. 43-44, "Lowe Bonnie" (1 text, 1 tune) {same source as Bronson's #43, although the two transcriptions differ at several points}
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #156, "Young Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #29}
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 9, pp. 77-78, "Young Hunting" (1 text plus a fragment, from the same informant)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 17A, "Love Henry"; 17B, "Young Hunting"; 17C, "Henry" (1 text plus 2 fragments, 2 tunes)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 44-45, "Loving Henry" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #3}
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 16-17, "Loving Henry" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 28-29, "Loving Henry" (1 text)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 18 "Young Hunting" (12 texts plus 2 fragments, 14 tunes){Bronson's #35, #32, #33, #22, #40, #2, #12, #11, #25, #27, #13, #37, #31, #30}
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, po. 88-89, "Young Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol1, pp. 75-76, "Lord Barney" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 37-38, "Young Heneree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 134-136, collectively titled "Young Hunting," individually "Loving Henery," "Come In, Loving Henery," "Loving Henry" (2 texts plus a fragment; the "A" text has a moralizing ending in which the girl dies; tune on p. 398) {Bronson's #10}
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 36-39, "Young Hunting" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #5}
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 229-234, "Young Hunting" (2 texts)
McNeil-SouthernFolkBalladsVol2, pp. 76-78, "Lord Barnie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 30, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 190, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 65, "The Lord of Scotland" (1 text, 1 tune. Cazden et al are not sure this song should be identified with "Young Hunting," since the "bird scene" is more extended than in other versions of that ballad. However, all the classic elements of "Young Hunting" are present)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 109, "A Song of a Lost Hunter (or, My Love Heneree)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 44, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 27, "Young Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gummere-OldEnglishBallads, pp. 209-212+350-351, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 13, "Love Henry (Young Hunting)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #31}
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 64-65, "Little Scotch-ee" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
Lunsford/Stringfield-30And1FolkSongsFromSouthernMountains, "Young Hunting" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Dunson/Raim/Asch-AnthologyOfAmericanFolkMusic, p. 22 "Henry Lee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p. 54, "Young Hunting" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 9, "Young Hunting" (2 texts)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, pp. 97-99, "Love Henry" (1 text, 1 tune)
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, pp. 142-143, "Earl Richard"; pp. 143-144, "Lord William" (2 texts)
Jekyll-JamaicanSongAndStory 31, "Pretty Poll" (1 text, 1 tune)
JournalOfAmericanFolklore, Helen H Roberts, "A Study of Folk Song Variants Based on Field Work in Jamaica," Vol. XXXVIII, No. 148 (Apr-Jun 1925), #2, pp. 154-155 "Fine Waitin' Bwa" (3 fragments, 3 tunes)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Andra Joy Hamilton, "A Garland of Ballads from Caldwell County", Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jul 1955), p. 6, "Little Scottee" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Roberts, _Jamaica Anansi Stories_ (New York: American Folklore Society, 1924 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #73 pp. 83-84, "The Singing Bird": #73a pp. 83-84, "Fine Waiting Boy", #73b p. 84, "The Golden Cage" (2 texts, 2 tunes)

Roud #47
Jimmie Tarlton (Darby & Tarlton), "Lowe Bonnie" (Columbia 15763-D, 1930; on TimesAint04, ConstSor1) {Bronson's #43}
Logan English, "Love Henry" (on LEnglish1 -- several verses filled in from Cecil Sharp's Kentucky version)
Dick Justice, "Henry Lee" (Brunswick 367, 1929; on AAFM1)
George Landers, "Scotland Man" (on DarkHoll)
Ella Parker, "Lord BArnett-IHearAmericaSinging" (on FineTimes)

cf. "The False Young Man (The False True Lover)" (lyrics)
Lady Margot and Love Henry
Earl Richard
Lord Land
Lord Bonnie
Low Bonnie
Young Redin
NOTES [1239 words]: Bronson notes that the musical tradition of this ballad "is perplexed and hard to make out," the tunes having diverse metres and forms. Bronson divides them into six major groups (the largest of which has two subgroups), but notes connections to many other melodies. Given the complexity of establishing tune families, we make no attempt to list them all in the cross-references; you'll have to see Bronson.
It strikes me as possible that this is related to the song's complex textual history. The description given here is pretty typical -- but there is a full Scottish version (from the Herd manuscript) in which the victim's father hunts for him, sends divers into the river, and is guided to the corpse by a bird. The father confronts the girl with the corpse, which bleeds upon seeing her. She blames her maid, but the fire kindled to burn the innocent girl will not harm her, so the murderess is destroyed instead. Many commentators think this ending was lost in most American and many British texts -- but it's so involved that I rather suspect it was grafted on.
Although American versions of this song are often known as "Loving Henry," not every song known by this title is a version of Young Hunting. Norm Cohen points out to me that at least two 78s known by this title [Kyle Wooten, "Loving Henry" (OKeh 45539, 1931; rec. 1930) and Jess Young's Tennessee Band, "Loving Henry" (Columbia 15431-D, 1929)] are not Child 68.
On the basis of all this, Fowler, pp. 286-287, suggests the song is composite, very tentatively arguing that it is based on a real incident about which little was known, so the compiler padded it out with ballad commonplaces. - RBW
Child #68 and Jamaican Anansi Stories
The three Jamaican texts are "Anansi" cante fables following the Ashanti (West African) tradition.
Jekyll's "Pretty Poll": A Duke's girl servant courts a young man. Another man sees the girl and asks the Duke for her, but the Duke says, "No, she is courting already." But the girl tells this new suitor, "if you going to marry me I will lef' my lover an' come." The new suitor asks how that can be: "The Duke not going to allow it." The girl says she will manage it. She takes her old lover for a walk, distracts him, and throws him in a well. A parrot in a nearby tree sees everything and sings that it will take the news of the murder to the Duke. The girl sings, "Come, Pretty Poll, come! There is a house of gold an' silver before you sit 'pon tree." The parrot rejects the bribe: "Tree I barn, Tree I must stay till my time come to die." The parrot "fly from tree to tree... from house to house," reaches the Duke, and tells the tale. "[T]hem hear what Poll said, an' them catch the gal' an' chop off her head. An' Poll get good care." [fn.1]
Broadwood writes about Jekyll's "Pretty Poll," "This is ... the story of 'May Colvin' or 'The Outlandish Knight'. The tune 'Come, pretty Poll' here given is rather reminiscent of one traditional air to the ballad still sung in different parts of England... See 'The Outlandish Knight' in Songs of Northern England (Stokoe and Reay) for the type of tune referred to.... " Elsewhere, Broadwood refers to Child 68 for a similar story. [fn.2]
I hear no resemblance between Jekyll's and the Stokoe-Reay tune for "The Outlandish Knight" [fn.3]
Beckwith-Roberts has a similar song not directly connected to a story, "The Golden Cage": The bird sings "I brought a news to tell you ... Miss Chee Chee take you one dear love an' cast her into a well" Miss Chee Chee says, "Be quiet, I will make a golden cage and put you into it." The bird's reply is from Child 68, but with a different meaning: "No, no, no, no. Same me will do it to dear love too, you will do me the same." [fn.4]
Beckwith/Roberts and Roberts have a different Anansi cante fable and song, "Fine Waiting Boy": A gentleman and his servant, Collin, go for a horse and buggy drive. When they come to a well the master would have Collin get him some water. "Collin pitch him master in de well" and drives home. He tells the master's wife that the master has gone visiting and he will get the master in the buggy the next day. But a little bird sings "Fine waitin' boy. Throw him master into a well.... Collin no ben see da little bird up on tree so long." The master's wife sends for someone who could understand the bird, and says "go search de well, fin' de master body, an' go tak Collin hang him. [fn.5]
See "The Twa Sisters" [Child 10] discussion of Jekyll's "King Daniel," and "Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard" [Child 81] discussion of "Matty Gru," for Caribbean examples of the parrot introduced as messenger in other Child ballads. Child 81 also has Caribbean texts with parrot as messenger in three versions for Abrahams [fn.6] (though none for three of Beckwith's [fn.7]).
The Jamaican texts I am classifying here as Child 68 raise more questions, for me, about Anansi story as Child ballad than those others.
For one thing, the inclusion of song in Anansi is does not mean that there is an original sung text. For example, Jekyll's #26 "The Three Pigs" is very close to Halliwell's "The Story of the Three Little Pigs" [fn.8]; there is no singing in Halliwell, but in Jekyll the third pig sings a challenge to the wolf. You can also see the notes to "The Derby Ram" which illustrates how casually song is added to or lost from English song as Anansi cante fable.
How do the texts compare to Child 68?
Rationale for murder:- Child 68: infidelity of the victim; Jekyll: infidelity of the murderer; "The Golden Cage": murderer's jealousy of the victim; "Fine Waiting Boy": servant's resentfulness of master.
Sex of murderer and victim, respectively-: Child 68: woman and man; Jekyll: woman and man; "The Golden Cage": woman and woman; "Fine Waiting Boy": man and man.
Bribery:- Child 68: golden cage is rejected because murderer is not to be trusted; Jekyll: golden cage is rejected because a free-born bird won't accept even a luxurious cage [but, at the end of the story, "Poll get good care"]; "The Golden Cage": golden cage is rejected because murderer is not to be trusted. "Fine Waiting Boy": no bribery attempt.
Penalty:- Child 68: A-C,H,J-K burning at the stake; Jekyll: beheading; "The Golden Cage": not stated; "Fine Waiting Boy": hanging
The common elements are murder by throwing in a well, and an unobserved bird observer reporting the murder. - BS
[1] Jekyll, #31 pp. 96-97, "Pretty Poll"
[2] Broadwood, #31, p. 287, "Pretty Poll." In discussing another Jekyll cante fable Broadwood writes "Cf. the old ballads 'May Colvin' and 'Young Hunting.' In the latter the parrot reveals a murder. In both ballads the lady makes the same promises to the bird" (Broadwood, #3, p. 286, "King Daniel).
[3] I don't have Stoke and Reay so I am going by the tune in Bruce and Stokoe, which I take to be the same. See Bruce/Stokoe, pp. 48-50, "The Outlandish Knight"
[4] Beckwith/Roberts, #73ba p. 84, "The Golden Cage"
[5] Beckwith/Roberts, #73a pp. 83-84, "Fine Waiting Boy" and Roberts, #2 pp. 154-155 "Fine Waitin' Bwa"
[6] Abrahams, pp. 120-126, "Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard"
[7] Beckwith, #1-#3 pp. 470-473, 480, "Little Musgrove"
[8] Halliwell, #55 pp. 37-41, "The Story of the Three Little Pigs"). As an example of the closeness to Halliwell, Jekyll has, "Pig say:- 'No, no, no! by the hair of my chinnychinchin.' Wolf say:- 'I will haff an' cuff an' will blow you house down.'"
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