O Mary Mother

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, Mary, mother, come and see, Thy son is nailed on a tree." John brings word to Mary of the crucifixion. She cannot rest, but hurries to the execution site. She and Jesus discuss his fate. He prays and prepares to die
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1372 (Commonplace Book of John de Grimestone, National Library of Scotland MS. Advocates 18.7.21, according to Greene, although he has the MS. number wrong)
KEYWORDS: Jesus religious mother
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
ADDITIONAL: Roman Dyboski, _Songs, Carols, and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol Ms. 354, Richard Hill's Commonplace Book_, Kegan Paul, 1907 (there are now multiple print-on-demand reprints), #24, pp. 13-15, "(Mary moder, cum and se)" (1 text)
Richard Greene, editor, _A Selection of English Carols_, Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series, Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1962, #44, pp. 104-105, "(Mary modyr, cum and se)" (1 text)
Brown/Robbins, _Index of Middle English Verse_, #1219; compare #2111
Digital Index of Middle English Verse #2029; compare #3424

NOTES [126 words]: This is one of several early carols in Greene that seem to have been sufficiently well-known that I include them, with reservations, in the Index. The earliest version is in the Commonplace Book of John de Grimestone, of 1372; for more on this, see the notes to "The Coventry Carol." Greene's version is from Bodleian, MS. poet. e. 1 (fifteenth century); another manuscript text is in British Library MS. Sloane 2593 (the famous "Sloane Lyrics"), and a version from Richard Kele's Christmas carolles newely imprinted is in the Huntington Library.
A second song with similar lyrics is found in the Sloane Lyrics and in British Library MS. Additional 31042 (the famous London Thornton manuscript); it is #3424 in the Digital Index of Middle English Verse. RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: Gree044

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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.