True Lovers' Discussion (I), The

DESCRIPTION: The boy asks the girl why she has changed her mind about him. She explains. He offers counter-arguments, elaborately reasoned. They quarrel. He prepares to leave her. She grows sad and begs him to stay.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (O'Conor); before 1900 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 19(102))
KEYWORDS: love courting rejection accusation
FOUND IN: Ireland Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
SHenry H164, pp. 362-364, "The True Lovers' Discussion" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin-Cronin 114, "One Pleasant Evening As Pinks and Daisies" (2 texts)
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 39B, "The True Lovers' Discoursion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson 96, "The True Lovers' Discussion" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, pp. 77-79, "The True Lover's Discussion" (1 text)

ST HHH164 (Partial)
Roud #2948
RECORDINGS:
Robert Cinnamond, "The True-Lover's Discussion" (on IRRCinnamond02)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 19(102), "The True Lover's Discussion," J.F. Nugent & Co. (Dublin), 1850-1899; also 2806 b.9(228)[some words illegible], 2806 c.15(65), 2806 c.15(43)[many illegible words], "[The] True Lover's Discussion"
NOTES: The notes to Sam Henry credit it to a "schoolteacher M'Kittrick," at a date before 1860, and it certainly seems likely enough that it is composed. But I cannot prove the authorship.
The notes to Henry/Huntington/Herrmann list several other versions of this song, so I suppose it must have had some oral currency. But I can't believe it really had much popularity (despite Sam Henry's claims that he had many requests). It is dense, talkative, repetitive, foolish, and *long* (18 8-line stanzas in the Henry text, 20 8-line stanzas in Creighton and in Manny/Wilson). It is also much too fond of elaborate words to be a good folk song.
I wonder if Henry wasn't confusing this with "Two Lovers Discoursing" [Laws O22] (a confusion Creighton also suffered; see Ben Schwartz's note); they share a title, and a theme, but the forms are utterly different. - RBW
Creighton-SNewBrunswick: "There must be some relation between 39A and B. The former seems to have originated with the folk and the latter to have been a literary composition taken over by the folk. They are placed together because of subject matter and also because singers give variants of the same title." If so they have grown so far apart that there is no hint in the words that they are related. For 39A see "Two Lovers Discoursing" [Laws O22].
On IRRCinnamond02, Cinnamond sings the first two and last verse [of "32"] that are very close to SHenry H164. He points out that the last verse claims "In Magheratimpan [near Ballynahinch], if you inquire, you will find the author of these simple lines"; that corresponds to the note in SHenry about authorship. - BS
Last updated in version 3.2
File: HHH164

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 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.