Drowsy Sleeper, The [Laws M4]

DESCRIPTION: A young man comes to his love's window and bids her ask her parents' permission to marry him. They will refuse it; her father is prepared to kill him. Depending on the version, he leaves, or one or the other lover (or both) commits suicide or die of grief
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(183a))
KEYWORDS: courting father mother death suicide
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(West,Scotland))
REFERENCES (46 citations):
Laws M4, "The Drowsy Sleeper"
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #49, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sturgis/Hughes, pp. 38-39, "The Shining Dagger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden, pp. 118-123, "Bedroom Window (The Drowsy Sleeper)" (6 texts plus two fragments which might float, 1 tune)
Randolph 52, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (6 texts, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 83-85, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 52D)
Eddy 31, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (3 texts plus a fragment, 4 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering 22, "Who Is Tapping at My Bedroom Window?" (1 text plus an excerpt and mention of 3 more, 2 tunes; some of the unprinted texts may have "Silver Dagger" elements)
Peters, p. 214, "Wo Is That Under My Bedroom Window?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Musick-Larkin 18, "Awake Ye Drousy Sleeper" (1 text)
BrownII 71, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (2 texts plus 3 excerpts; the "B" text is a "Silver Dagger" mix; the "D" excerpt contains "Fair and Tender Ladies" verses)
BrownSchinhanIV 71, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (4 excerpts, 4 tunes)
Chappell-FSRA 45, "Wake Up" (2 texts)
JonesLunsford, p. 210, "Awake, O Awake" (1 text, 1 tune)
Joyner, pp. 53-54, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #193, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson 46, pp. 161-162, "Willie and Mary" (1 text); also 37, pp. 151-152, "Annie Girl" (1 text, which conflates 2 verses of "The Drowsy Sleeper" [Laws M4], 2 or 3 of "Wheel of Fortune (Dublin City, Spanish Lady)" or "No, John, No: or similar, and 3 verses probably of "Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token)" [Laws N42])
Moore-Southwest 88, "Wake Up You Drowsy Sleepers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 139-142, collectively titled "Awake! Awake!" but with inidividual titles "Katy Dear, or Willie Darling," ""Mollie Dear, Go Ask Your Mother," "Drowsy Sleepers," Little Willie" (4 texts; 2 tunes on p. 399)
Sulzer, p. 17, "Raft-man's Song" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Doerflinger, p. 314, "Who's That at My Bedroom Window? (The Drowsy Sleeper)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brewster 28, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (2 texts plus a fragment and mention of 3 more, 2 tunes)
Peters, pp. 159-160, "Awake, Arise, You Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 24, "Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 733-734, "Who Is At My Window Weeping?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 30, "Who Is At My Bedroom Window?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 727-730, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (2 texts)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 183-184, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text)
FSCatskills 51, "Awake, Awake, Ye Drowsy Sleepers" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
ThompsonNewYork, pp. 390-391, "Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text)
Warner 188, "Wake, O Wake, You Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
McNeil-SFB1, pp. 72-73, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 57, "Awake! Awake!" (10 texts, 10 tunes)
Sharp-100E 47, "Arise, Arise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 46, "Arise! Arise!" (1 text, 1 tune, from different informants)
Sandburg, p. 144, "Kind Miss" (1 short text, 1 tune, primarily "Wheel of Fortune" but with one verse of "The Drowsy Sleeper")
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 200-201, "[Drowsy Sleeper]" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H722, pp. 343-344, "The Sweet Bann Water" (1 text, 1 tune, erroneously listed in the text as Laws M34)
Graham/Holmes 73, "The Sweet Bann Water" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 549-550, "The Shining Dagger" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 21, pp. 51-52, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (1 text; the second text is perhaps influenced by "The Silver Dagger")
JHCox 348, "The Drowsy Sleeper" (2 texts)
Darling-NAS, pp. 114-115, "Awake, Awake, My Old True Lover" (1 text); also pp. 115-116, "Oh, Molly Dear" (1 text, very mixed, with verses from this song, from "East Virginia, and some floaters); also pp. 116-117, "Who's That Knocking" (1 text, even more mixed and with a "Little Sparrow" verse)
Silber-FSWB, p. 193, "Don't Sing Love Songs" (1 text)
DT 327, SHIPORDR* SHIPORD2* SILVDAG3* SILVDAG4*
ADDITIONAL: James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin" by Asher E. Treat, p. 239, "O, Mary Dear, Go Ask Your Mother" (1 text, 1 tune, sung by Pearl Jacobs Borusky)

Roud #402
RECORDINGS:
Dillard Chandler, "Awake, Awake" (on OldLove, DarkHoll)
Lester A. Coffee, "Awake, Arise, You Drowsy Sleeper" (AFS, 1946; on LC55)
Kelly Harrell, "O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother" (Victor 20280, 1926; on KHarrell01 -- with several verses from "East Virginia" inserted in the song)
Frank Knox, "Silver Dagger" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Little Satchel" (on NLCR17, NLCRCD2)
Oaks Family, "Wake Up You Drowsy Sleeper" Victor 23795, 1933; on TimesAint01, KMM)
Ken Peacock, "Who Is At My Window Weeping?" (on NFKPeacock)
B. F. Shelton, "Oh Molly Dear" (Victor V-40107, 1929; on ConstSor1)
Wilmer Watts & the Lonely Eagles, "Sleepy Desert" (Paramount 3282, 1931; on TimesAint03)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 17(183a), "The Maidens Complaint ," T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Firth c.17(25), "Awake, Drowsy Sleeper"; Harding B 28(233), "The Drowsy Sleeper"; Harding B 25(452), "Cruel Father" or "The Maiden's Complaint"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Silver Dagger (I)" [Laws G21]
cf. "I Will Put My Ship In Order" (plot)
cf. "Greenback Dollar" (plot)
cf. "Go From My Window (I)"
cf. "One Night As I Lay on My Bed"
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Silver Dagger
Awake, Awake
NOTES: I put [the Silber "Don't Sing Love Songs" text] under "Drowsy Sleeper" rather than "Silver Dagger" because, although a dagger is mentioned, no one uses it. - PJS
In the absence of any other basis, this is a good criterion. The two songs have cross-fertilized heavily; drawing the line can be extremely difficult, especially for fragmentary forms. - RBW
Broadside Bodleian Harding B 28(233): she refuses bread and water; "single I will go to my grave." Broadside Bodleian Firth c.17(25): she says she will go to Botany Bay to be with Jim and asks for her portion of 500 pounds; father gives in and says "you and your true love shall be married, And that will ease you of all your pain." - BS
Musick-Larkin is the English "Drowsy Sleeper" (I) (not Laws M4 "Drowsy Sleeper" (II), nor the Scottish "I Will Put My Ship In Order"). I plan to break all this out. - BS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LM04

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.