DESCRIPTION: The singer complains about Nellie's choice of the lily over the rose. Mountain verses: blueberries grow, a castle light-house on top, at its foot the ocean where green-flagged gunships sail to Newry where his "unkind" sweetheart is.
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Broadwood/Maitland)
KEYWORDS: courting rejection floatingverses nonballad wordplay
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,SOuth)) Canada(Mar) US(SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 136-137, "Faithful Emma" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Reeves-Circle 126, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text; the "A" text is "Nellie (I)"; the "B" and "C" texts are "The Streams of Lovely Nancy")
Creighton-Maritime, p. 79, "Nellie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell-FSRA 29, "The Shipwreck" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: G L Kittredge, editor, "Ballads and Songs" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXX, No. 117 (Jul-Sep 1917 (available online by JSTOR)), pp. 347-348 "The Green Mountain" ("On yonder high mountain there a castle doth stand") (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (lyrics)
NOTES [302 words]: This song shares one verse with "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" [with which Roud at one time lumped it - RBW], which it corrupts:
At the top of this mountain a castle does stand,
It is decked round with ivy and back to the strand,
It is decked round with ivy and marble stone white,
It's a pilot for sailors on a dark stormy night.
Otherwise it shares a confused story line with that ballad but the confusions are not shared: I don't think this is a version of "Streams."
In the language of flowers the white lily stands for virginity and the red rose stands for love.
Newry is about 35 miles southwest of Belfast. - BS
Dornan's text begins "O sleep valiant mountain, it bears a great name" is, in one (so called) "Newry Mountain" text, "It is Slieve Gullion Mountain, oh that bears a great name"; Dornan's text mentions "Newry" twice.
Kittredge's version was "communicated by Professor Angelo Hall of Annapolis, 1914, as sung by his aunt, Mrs Elmina Cooley, who died twenty years before. Mrs Cooley got the song from her father, Theophilus Stickney, before 1833. He was born in Jaffrey, N.H., in 1814, and belonged to the Stickney family of Rowley, Mass." The dates are suspect since Mrs Cooley would have gotten the song from her father before he was 19 and she was ...? In any case, Belden notes that the words and tune were printed by Hall in a biography of his mother in 1908.
Broadwood/Maitland: "This fragment is either the beginning and end of one ballad, or the first three verses of one tacked on to the ending of another. The name of the song is that given to it by the choirman who sang it to Mr Sumner, though the connection between Emma's faith and Mary's fickleness is not apparent."
Faithful Emma, who does not appear in the Broadwood/Maitland text does apparentlty appear in "Homeward Bound" (II). - BS
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