White Fisher, The [Child 264]

DESCRIPTION: Willie learns that a "popish priest" fathered his wife's baby. She tells Willie to cast the babe in the sea; he instead gives the child to his mother. Willie's wife weeps for the babe and reviles him; Willie tells her the babe is alive; both are happy
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1878
KEYWORDS: pregnancy bastard death drowning return adultery abandonment disguise clergy infidelity
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Child 264, "The White Fisher" (1 text)
Bronson 264, comments only
DBuchan 60, "The White Fisher" (1 text)
GreigDuncan2 197, GreigDuncan8 Addenda, "The White Fisher" (3 texts, 1 tune)
DT 264, WHITFISH

Roud #3888
NOTES: Bronson notes that Child's view of this ballad is distorted by his single text, and believes that it should be modified in view of the collections by Grieg. - RBW
In the Greig-Duncan2 197 texts the seducing "popish priest" is replaced by a rapist: either a foot-page who had worked without pay for her father for seven years "and he made me pay the fee," or her "father's butler boy." The foot-page partially repeats the Jacob-Rachel-Laban (Genesis 29.16-20) theme; see the discussion for "The Flanders Shore." - BS
Last updated in version 2.6
File: C264

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