Blacksmith (I), The
DESCRIPTION: "A blacksmith courted me, Nine months or better. He fairly won my heart, Wrote me a letter.... And if I were with my love, I'd live forever." Sadly, her love has departed (for the wars? To be married?); she wishes she were with him wherever he goes
EARLIEST DATE: 1901
KEYWORDS: love separation courting lie betrayal lament lover
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) Canada
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Kennedy 146, "A Blacksmith Courted Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 22, "The Blacksmith" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 56, "The Blacksmith" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Reeves-Sharp, p. 233, "(Have you seen my love pass by)" (1 fragment)
DT, BLAKSMIT* BLAKSMT2* BLAKSMI2*
Harry Brazil, "A Blacksmith Courted Me" (on Voice11)
Bodleian, Firth c.18(130), "The Blacksmith," H. Such (London), 1863-1885
cf. "Brave Wolfe" [Laws A1] (tune & meter)
cf. "Our Captain Called" (tune & meter, lyrics)
cf. "Pining Daily and Daily" (theme)
cf. "Glasgow Ships" (one verse)
Brave Wolfe [Laws A1] (File: LA01)
NOTES: Lines are similar to Opie-Oxford2 270, "Brave news is come to town" (earliest date in Opie-Oxford2 is 1842).
Firth c.18(130): "Strange news has come to me, strange news is carried, And now it's all the talk, my love he is married."
Opie-Oxford2 270: "Brave news is come to town, Brave news is carried; Brave news is come to town, Jemmy Dawson's married." - BS
(For the items listed above, see also Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #280, p. 165, "(Brave news is come to town)"; also Montgomerie-ScottishNR 96, "(Braw News is come to town)," in which the girl is Jean Tamson. The similarity is only in the lyrics, though, not in the plot.)
Kennedy lists in excess of a dozen collections of this song, almost all from the south of England. Normally I would interpret this to mean that it is recent but popular -- but of course it is old enough to have supplied the tune for "Brave Wolfe."
The Opies mention "Jemmy Dawson" as a man executed for supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie, but that of course doesn't prove that it's the same Jemmy Dawson. On the other hand, if Jemmy were being sung about circa 1745, the tune would still be remembered circa 1760, when "Brave Wolfe" was presumably written. - RBW
One verse, found at least in broadside Bodleian Firth c.18(130), specifically, "It's not what you promised when by me you did lie, You promised to marry me and never me deny; If I promised to marry you it was only to try you, So bring your witness in and I never will deny you" that dates back at least to about 1672. See:
* Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth, editor, The Roxburghe Ballads: Illustrating the Last Years of the Stuarts (Hertford, 1883 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. IV Part 1 [Part 10], pp. 22-25, "The Deluded Lasse's Lamentation" or "The False Youth's Unkindness to his Beloved Mistress" ("Is she gone? let her go. I do not care") (1 text) ["Probable date, 1672"]
Broadside EngBdsdBA 22124, Pepys 5.289, "The Deluded Lasses Lamentation" or "The False Youth's Unkindness to his Beloved Mistris" ("Is she gone, let her go, I do not care"), J. Deacon (London), 1689, accessed 08 Dec 2013 - BS
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