Gaberlunzie Man, The [Child 279A]

DESCRIPTION: A beggar comes to a lady's door and begs lodging. That night, he lures her daughter away with him. Later he returns to the lady's door and again begs lodging. The lady says she will never lodge a beggar again. He reveals her daughter, rich and happy
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1724 (Tea-Table Miscellany)
KEYWORDS: begging courting escape money elopement mother children disguise
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North),Scotland) Ireland Canada(Mar) US(NE)
REFERENCES (18 citations):
Child 279 Appendix, "The Gaberlunyie-Man" (sic) (1 text)
Bronson (279 Appendix), "(The Jolly Beggar/The Gaberlunzie Man)" (49 versions)
BronsonSinging (279 Appendix), "The Gaberlunyie-Man" ( versions: #1, #13,#15, #36, #24; #36 is also accidentally copied under Child 251, "Lang Johnny More")
Whitelaw-Song, p. 96, "The Gaberlunzie Man" (1 text)
Greig #30, pp. 1-2, "The Gaberlunzie Man"; Greig #38, pp. 2-3, "The Gaberlunzie Man" (2 texts)
GreigDuncan2 275, "The Beggar Man" (22 texts, 20 tunes) {A=Bronson's #24, C=#9, D=#17, E=#19, F=#16?, G=#23, H=#25, I=#14, J=#13, K=#22, L=#10, M=#15, P=#8, R=#18, S=#12, T=#7; several other tunes cannot be identified with their sources}
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 333-336, "The Gaberlunyie Man" (1 text plus an extensive quotation from Petrie, 1 tune) {Bronson's 32}
Percy/Wheatley II, pp. 67-71, "The Gaberlunyie Man" (1 text)
SHenry H810, p. 269, "A Beggarman Cam' ower the Lea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Graham/Holmes 5, "The Beggarman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp.375-377, "The Beggar Man" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #33}
MacSeegTrav 19, "The Gaberlunzie Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Davis-More 42, pp. 333-338, "The Gaberlunyie-Man" (1 text, which though collected in Virginia comes from a man born in Scotland and is in Braid Scots)
Moore-Southwest 54, "The Jolly Beggar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 99-101, "The Gaberlunyie Man" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #11}
BBI, ZN2346, "The silly poor man came over the lee" (?)
ADDITIONAL: [Ambrose Phillips?,] A Collection of Old Ballads Vol III, (London, 1725), #55, pp. 259-261, "The Gaberlunzie-Man"
James Johnson, Editor, _The Scots Musical Museum_ [1853 edition], volume III, #226, pp. 234-235, "The Gaberlunzie-man" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}

Roud #119
RECORDINGS:
Maggie & Sarah Chambers, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSB5 [as "The Auld Beggarman"], FSBBAL2) {Bronson's #46}
Liam Clancy, "Hi For the Beggarman" (on IRLClancy01)
Togo Crawford, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSBBAL2)
Lizzie Higgins, "A Beggar Man" (on Voice17)
Ewan MacColl, "The Beggar Man" (ESFB1, ESFB2)
Maggie Murphy, "Clinking O'er the Lea" (on Voice07)
John Strachan, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSBBAL2) {Bronson's #38}

BROADSIDES:
NLScotland, RB.m.143(126), "The Beggar Man" ("There was an old man cam' o'er the lea"), Poet's Box (Dundee), c.1890
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Jolly Beggar" [Child 279] and references there
cf. "The Beggar-Laddie" [Child 280]
cf. "A Great Big Sea Hove in Long Beach" (tune & meter)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Beggar's Bride
The Auld Gaberlunzie
NOTES: Although this ballad is associated in tradition with James V of Scotland, there is no evidence that he ever sought a woman in this fashion. James V in fact married a noble foreign lady, Mary of Guise-Lorraine.
There actually is a sort-of-similar situation in British history; when the future King George II, in seeking a wife, "raised the possibility of marrying Caroline [of Ansbach], his father insisted his son should meet her first, and suggested that he do o in disguise, so that he could make an honest assessment of her person and character. In 1705, George obediently travelled to Ansbach, where he was presented to an unsuspecting Caroline as a Hanoverian nobleman. He was smitten at their very first meeting. As intemperate in passion as in so much else, George insisted for the rest of his life that he had fallen in love with Caroline the moment he was her" (Janice Hadlow, A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III, Henry Holt, 2014 (published in Britain by William Collins as The Strangest Family), p. 30). However, the ending is somewhat different: "Without declaring himself, [George] hurried back to Hanover, and urged his father to open negotiations for her hand." The two soon married and had eight children.
However, it is hard to believe that that was the inspiration for this song, since the earliest versions of "The Gaberlunzie Man" date from no later than 1724, before George II even came to the throne.
Wheatley explains "Gaberlunyie" as a compound of "gaber," a wallet, and "lunyie," the loins, i.e. a Gaberlunyie man is one who carries a wallet by his side. The fact that the title vacillates between "Gaberlunyie" and "Gaberlunzie" implies that most singers were less aware of this than the average scholar....
For the relationship between this song and "The Jolly Beggar," see the notes to that song. Due to the degree of cross-fertilization of these ballads, one should be sure to check both songs to find all versions.- RBW
Greig #38 is only the "return of" Gaberlunzie as a standalone text. Since Greig #30 ends when the daughter leaves, Greig sees the texts as distinct ballads with Greig #38 as the sequel.
The following broadsides almost certainly belong here but I could not download them: Bodleian, 2806 c.18(171), "The Beggar Man" ("There was an old man cam o'er the lea"), unknown, n.d.; also Firth c.26(57), "The Beggar Man."
re A Collection of Old Ballads Vol III: Ambrose Philips, whose name does not appear in the Google Books copy is, according to Google Books, the editor. The New York Public Library catalog says "Compilation usually attributed to Ambrose Philips." - BS
William Bernard McCarthy, in the article "'Barbara Allen' and 'The Gypsy Laddie': Single-Rhyme Ballads in the Child Corpus," printed on pp. 143-154 of Thomas A. McKean, editor, The Flowering Thorn: International Ballad Studies, Utah State University Press, 2003, makes the interesting observation that there are only two ballads in the Child collection -- "The Jolly Beggar" [Child 279]/"The Gaberlunzie Man" [Child 279A] and "The Beggar-Laddie" [Child 280], which are known to cross-fertilize, which normally use the rhyme scheme aaab, with the same b rhyme in all the verses. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C279A

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