Jealous Lover (I), The (Florella, Floella) (Pearl Bryan II) (Nell Cropsey II) [Laws F1A, B, C]

DESCRIPTION: The jealous lover lures (Florella/Pearl Bryan) into the woods with the promise that they will discuss wedding plans. Once there, he stabs her. When captured, he is imprisoned for life
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: homicide prison jealousy death lover
Feb 1, 1896 - Discovery of the headless body of Pearl Bryan, killed along with her unborn child by Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling, near Fort Thomas, Kentucky
1901 - Murder of Ella Maude "Nellie" Cropsey, presumably by her former lover Jim Wilcox
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (44 citations):
Laws F1, "The Jealous Lover (Florella, Floella) (Pearl Bryan II) (Nell Cropsey II)"
Belden, pp. 324-330, "Florella (The Jealous Love)" (2 full texts plus 7 fragments which may be this piece and references to 9 others, 2 tunes)
Randolph 138, "The Jealous Lover" (7 texts plus 3 excerpts, 4 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 158-161, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 138A)
Eddy 104, "The Murdered Girl" (8 texts, 2 tunes; the D and E texts apparently belong here)
Gardner/Chickering 21, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text plus an excerpts and mention of 2 more, 1 tune)
Neely, pp. 158-161, "Pearl Bryant" (2 texts, 1 tune, the first a "Pearl Bryan" type, the second being a general "Florella" type)
Creighton-NovaScotia 146, "Sweet Fair Ella" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson 67, "Fair Florella" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger, pp. 287-288, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune)
Carey-MarylandFolkloreLife, pp. 53-54, "Pearl Bryan" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 250, "Florella (The Jealous Lover)" (5 texts plus 7 excerpts, 2 framents, and mention of 9 more; Laws places the "A", "B", "C" (apparently), "H," and "L" texts with F1A and "U" with F1B)
BrownSchinhanIV 250, "Florella (The Jealous Lover)" (8 excerpts, 8 tunes)
Chappell-FSRA 64, "Nell Cropsey, IV" (1 text plus 2 fradments, 2 tunes, apparently a local adaption to the Nell Cropsey story, for which see Nell Cropsey (I); Chappell's seem to be the only known versions of this adaption)
Morris, #35, "The Jealous Lover" (3 texts, 1 tune; the "A" and "B" texts appear to be "The Jealous Lover (II)"; the "C" text is the "Pearl Bryan" type of "The Jealous Lover (I) [Laws F1 A/BC])
Fuson, pp. 65-66, "Edward" (1 text, probably this although it has at least hints of the "Willow Garden" versions of "Rose Connolly")
Cambiaire, p. 109, "Pearl Bryant" (1 short text, probably this though it is not long enough to be certain)
Sulzer, p. 15, "Fair Ellen" (1 text, t tune)
MHenry-Appalachians, p. 251, "Fair Ellen" (1 fragment, probably of this family though it's too short to tell)
Owens-1ed, pp. 100-102, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, pp. 72-73, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #31, "The Jealous Lover" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Brewster 46, "Florella" (3 texts plus mention of 3 more, all of the F1A type though Laws does not list them); 61, "Pearl Bryan" (3 texts plus an excerpt and mention of 3 more; 1 tune; the "C" text is this piece (of the F1B group) while "A" and "B" are Laws F2)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 59-60, "The Fair Flo-ella" (1 text)
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 77-79, "Fair Florella" (1 text, 1 tune)
ThompsonNewYork, pp. 388-389, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text plus an excerpt)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 180, "Florella" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 632-633, "Sweet Florella" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burt, p. 31, "(Pearl Bryan)" (1 stanza)
Leach, pp. 787-789, "Fair Florella or The Jealous Lover" (2 texts)
McNeil-SFB2, pp. 85-87, "Pearl Bryan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 203, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text)
Combs/Wilgus 63D, pp. 174-175, "Pearl Bryan" (1 text)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 137-138, "[Fair Ellen]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 29-31, "Fair Florella/Pearl Bryan" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 43, pp. 101-102, "The Jealous Lover"; pp. 102-103, "The Weeping Willow" (2 texts, of which the first is "The Jealous Lover (II)" but the second could well be this)
JHCox 38, "The Jealous Lover" (5 texts plus mentions of three more; of these, Laws identifies D and E as this song, belonging to the Pearl Bryan group)
JHCoxIIB, #5A-B, pp. 130-132, "The Jealous Lover," "Blue-Eyed Ellen" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune; the "A" fragment might be this or "The Jealous Lover (II)"; the "B" text is probably the latter)
Boette, pp. 132-134, "Pearl Bryan" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 145-146, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 197-198, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Fred W. Allsopp, Folklore of Romantic Arkansas, Volume II (1931), p. 204, "(The Jealous Lover)" (1 text)
Richard M. Dorson, _Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States_, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 399-402, "Pearl Bryant" (1 text)

Roud #500
[Richard] Burnett & Leonard Rutherford, "Pearl Bryan" (Columbia 15113-D, 1927; rec. 1926; on BurnRuth01, KMM)
Isabel Etheridge, "Nellie Cropsey" (on OBanks1)
Eugene Jemison, "Fair Florilla" (on Jem01)
David Miller, "Sweet Floetta" [Floella?] (Champion 15413, 1928/ Conqueror 7839, 1931)

cf. "The Lily of the West"
cf. "Pearl Bryan I" [Laws F2]
cf. "Pearl Bryan III" [Laws F3]
cf. "Pearl Bryan IV"
cf. "Nell Cropsey (I)" (subject of some versions) and references there
cf. "The Jealous Lover (II)" (subject, words, tune, everything else)
The Philadelphia Lawyer (by Woody Guthrie) (File: Grnw283)
[The Drew Murder] (Hudson, no number or title, pp. 233-234)
The Lone, Lone Valley
Down in a Lone Valley
The Love Valley
NOTES [476 words]: The antecedents and relationships of this ballad are immensely complex, and cannot be described here. There are many related pieces.
There is some debate over whether the ballad is in fact a "native American" piece. Although most of its present forms are uniquely American, Barry points to a connection with the British piece, "The Murder of Betty Smith." For this song, see e.g. the broadside NLScotland, L.C.Fol.73(126), "Murder of Betty Smith," Robert McIntosh (Glasgow), c.1850.
(Belden also mentions a possible connection to T. H. Bayley's "She Never Blamed Him." This seems a stretch even in the versions where the girl forgives the murderer.)
Given the number of similar songs, the reader is advised to check references under Laws F2, Laws F3, "The Jealous Lover II," etc.
Fuller details on the story of Pearl Bryan may be found in the entry on Pearl Bryan (I) [Laws F2].
Laws breaks this ballad up into three subgroups. F1A is "The Jealous Lover" (Florella, Floella, Blue-Eyed Ella, etc.); F1B is the Pearl Bryan group; F1C is the Nell Cropsey song. I decided to "lump" the songs, however, as they differ in very little except names.
The "Pearl Bryan" versions of this song (Laws F1B) are told from other Pearl Bryan songs by a first verse similar to this:
Way down in yonder valley
There the violets fade and bloom,
There lies our own Pearl Bryan
In a cold and lonesome tomb.
There are a number of "Jealous Lover" texts which Laws did NOT include with this piece, many of which are filed under "The Jealous Lover (II). The best guess I can make, based on what Laws did and didn't include, is that this song does not feature the girl forgiving her murderer' in "The Jealous Lover (II), she does. - RBW
Peacock is another who believes "this is an American ballad freely based on an English broadside and a sentimental English song by T.H. Bayly called She Never Blamed Him [sic], written in the 1820's and widely popular during the American Civil War." You can read the lyrics of "She Never Blam'd Him, Never," by Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1829), on the Library of Congress American Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets site, digital id as203280. Judge the likelihood for yourself.
Here's a description of "She Never Blam'd Him, Never": He visits and she receives him, vainly trying "to look the same." Though she was dying, only losing him made "her sweet voice ... faulter." She never blamed him for luring her "from the isle where she was born" into "the cold world's cruel scorn." He leaves and "she heard the bugle's sound... and strangers found her Cold and lifeless on the ground."
In any case, T.H. Bayly's name has appeared in this index in connection with other songs [sometimes as Bayley]. What kind of poet writes songs that do pass into tradition? You can find out more about him and his songs in Andrew Lang's Essays in Little - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LF01

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