Miller's Daughter (I), The (The Fleeing Servant)
DESCRIPTION: The youth and the miller's daughter find themselves on the hill; she starts to seduce him. He flees to the miller, saying, ""O, I have served you seven long years and never sought a fee, And I will serve you seven more if you'll keep your lass from me."
EARLIEST DATE: 1827 (Kinloch)
KEYWORDS: seduction humorous miller sex rejection
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Kinloch-BBook V, pp. 23-24, (no title) (1 text)
GreigDuncan7 1476, "The Caul's Takin' Me, Gudeman" (3 texts, 1 tune)
PBB 84, "The Miller's Daughter" (1 text)
ST KinBB06 (Full)
cf. "The Miller's Daughter (II)" (theme: miller's daughter's, like millers, have a big sexual appetite)
The Waukin' o' the Kilne
NOTES: Kinloch has no title for this piece, and of course doesn't list a source -- but I have to think it's traditional, simply because it doesn't make much sense as it stands. If he wants nothing to do with the girl, why does he go walking with her? It seems likely that a stanza is missing -- either one explaining how she trapped him alone, or one along the lines of "The Warranty Deed," explaining why she is desirable only when clothed.
The Penguin version of this apparently comes from A. L. Lloyd, and isn't much more detailed -- but looks to have been tidied up just a little.
This is one of the handful of humorous treatments of male fidelity -- a theme going back to the tale of Joseph and Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:1-20), as well as in the Egyptian "Tale of Two Brothers" which may have inspired it (for which see, e.g., Anthony S. Mercantante, Who's Who in Egyptian Mythology, Clarkson N. Potter, 1978, pp. 197-204). The theme is also the the source of such tragic ballads as "Child Owlet" and "The Sheffield Apprentice." - RBW
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