Banks of Allan Water, The
DESCRIPTION: "By the banks of Allan Water When the sweet springtime did fall, There I saw the miller's lovely daughter, Fairest of them all." By autumn, the girl has been betrayed by her soldier love and grieves; by winter, she is dead
AUTHOR: Matthew Lewis (1775-1818) ?
EARLIEST DATE: 1823 (Rich and Poor: A Comic Opera)
KEYWORDS: love courting soldier betrayal death
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Daisy Chapman, "The Banks of Allen Water" (on SCDChapman01)
NLScotland, Crawford EB 2836, "The Banks of Allan Water," G. Walker (Durham), ca.1850?; L.C.Fol.70(98b), "On the Banks of Allan Water," [same broadside as RB.m.143(211)]
Sheridan's "Early" Victory ("In the Shenandoah Valley") (Wolf-AmericanSongSheets p. 140)
The Miller's Daughter
NOTES [194 words]: Quoted by Hardy in Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), sung by Bathsheba Everdene.
Robert Crawford (died 1733) also wrote a song called "Allan Water," which is considered one of his best works. But that song has little if any traditional attestation. It is only of note because Robert Burns admired author Crawford, whose works were found in Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany attributed to "C" (see Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Editors, British Authors Before 1800: A Biographical Dictionary, H. W. Wilson, 1952 (I use the fourth printing of 1965), p. 129).
This song is later. Jim Dixon reports, "'The Banks of Allan Water' is a song sung by a character called Mrs. Secret in "Rich and Poor: A Comic Opera" by M[atthew] G[regory] Lewis (London: proprietors, 1823), page 6. This seems to be the source of the song.
"Hathi Trust has several viewable copies of the sheet music, where the words are credited to M[atthew] G[regory] Lewis with a piano arrangement by C[harles] E[dward] Horn. However, [one] has a guitar arrangement by C. M. Solá and says "music by Lady ----." None of these has a printed date, but they are cataloged as 1821 to 1828. - RBW, JD
Last updated in version 5.1
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.