Indian Lass, The
DESCRIPTION: At a foreign ale house the singer meets "a young Indian lass [from] a place near Orleans." She invites him home, offers him a drink and they spend the night. She begs him not to leave but he sails away and offers "a health to the young Indian lass!"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1852 (broadside, Bodleian Harding Harding B 11(1759))
KEYWORDS: love sex farewell drink sailor Indians(Am.)
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Ont) Britain(England(Lond,North,South))
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Creighton-NovaScotia 51, "Young Indian Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 57, "The Indian Lass" (1 text)
Fowke-Ontario 58, "The Young Spanish Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 502, "Indian Lass" (1 text)
Kidson-Tunes, pp. 109-111, "The Indian Lass" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 24, "The Indian Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #29, "The Indian Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #1045, p. 71, "The Indian Lass" (1 reference)
ST CrNS051 (Partial)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(1759), "Indian Lass" ("As I was wa[l]king on a far distant shore"), Samuel Russell (Birmingham), 1840-1851; also Harding B 11(1752), Harding B 11(1754), Firth c.12(279), Johnson Ballads 2288, Harding B 11(1756), Harding B 11(1757), Harding B 11(1758), Johnson Ballads 436, "The Indian Lass"
LOCSinging, sb20217b, "The Indian Lass," H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864
cf. "The Little Mohee" [Laws H8] (theme, some verses, and references there)
cf. "I'm a Stranger in this Country (The Darger Lad)" (theme, verses)
NOTES: Tune for Creighton-NovaScotia is 4/4 and no relation to the "On Top of Old Smoky" waltz common for "The Little Mohee."
The known dates for the broadsides for "The Indian Lass" don't help decide which came first,: "The Indian Lass" or "The Little Mohee"; in any case, one is clearly a derivative of the other.
In all of these broadside versions except what is -- so far -- the earliest, [the text has] "She was born and brought up in a place near Orleans"; for Bodleian Harding B 11(1759) "She was born and brought up in the place New Orleans."- BS
For discussion of the relationship of this song to "The Little Mohee," see the entry on that song. I must admit, looking at this, that I wonder if "The Little Mohee" isn't older; this looks like a version of that crossed with "The Lakes of Ponchartrain." - RBW
Broadside LOCSinging sb20217b: H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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