Bonny Blue Handkerchief, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer meets a girl with a blue kerchief under her chin. She says that it is a local fashion. Entranced by her beauty, he offers her marriage and wealth. In some versions, she accepts; in others, she refuses; the handkerchief is a token from her love
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1839 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(400))
KEYWORDS: love courting clothes work factory
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(South),Scotland)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
SHenry H161a+b, p. 456-457, "The Pretty Blue Handkerchief (I and II)" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Greig #112, p. 2, "The Hanky"; Greig #114, p. 2, "The Hanky" (1 text plus 1 fragment)
GreigDuncan5 1040, "The Hanky" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 436, "Bonny Blue Handkercheif Under Her Chin" (1 text)
Palmer-ECS, #87. "Bonny Blue Handkerchief" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #61, "The Bonny Blue Handkerchief" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #378
Bodleian, Harding B 11(400), "The Bonny Blue Handkerchief" ("As early one morning I chanced for to stray"), J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Johnson Ballads fol. 122, "Bonny Blue Handkerchief"; Harding B 11(2521), "My Bonny Blue Handkerchief"
Murray, Mu23-y4:024, "Blue Handkerchief," unknown, 19C

cf. "Jersey-Blue Handkerchief" (parody of this piece)
cf. "Jersey-Blue Handkerchief" (parody)
Under Her Chin
NOTES [67 words]: In the first Sam Henry text, we are explicitly told that the two went to church. In the second, it's not made explicit, but the song ends after his proposal, so it sounds as if she agrees to marry. In the Murray broadside, she turns him down. Looking at the three, I thing the broadside text more likely to be original; the Henry texts are choppy, and the verse where she accepts appears an intrusion. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: HHH161

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