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: 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

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