DESCRIPTION: The ballad tells the story of an itinerant pedlar as he rises through hard work to wealth and honor. His sons become professionals. His daughter marries well. The Packman still works as hard as he ever did.
AUTHOR: Charles Murray (1864-1941)
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Greig)
LONG DESCRIPTION: A popular pedlar buys and sells everything, knows everybody's business, and works hard to raise himself from poverty. Eventually he can buy a cart, and then a shop on which he raises the sign "Merchant." His wealth increases and he marries well. He becomes a church elder and banker. His three sons are sent to college and become a scholar, a lawyer and a doctor. His daughter, schooled in France, marries "a strappin' Deeside laird." The Packman still works as hard as he ever did.
KEYWORDS: marriage bargaining commerce children
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #130, p. 3, "The Packman"; Greig #118, p. 3, ("There was a jolly pedlar loon") (2 text fragments)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Murray, "Hamewith" (London, 1920), pp. 20-28, "The Packman" (1 text)
NOTES: Greig: "Mr Duncan says that the poem was circulated before its publication in book form, which, he thinks, may account for parts of it getting picked up. The fragment, which was picked up some years ago, was sung to a genuine folk-tune, with a refrain in the middle and at the end of the verse; which inclines one to think it just possible that the 'Pedlar Loon' was before the 'Packman.'" - BS
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