John (George) Riley (II) [Laws N37]

DESCRIPTION: A stranger urges a girl to marry him; she replies that, having lost her chance to marry Riley, she intends to live single. He tries again, asking her to come to (Pennsylvania); she refuses. At last he reveals that he is Riley, and offers to marry her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1817 (The New American Songster)
KEYWORDS: love courting separation marriage disguise
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Ireland Britain(England)
REFERENCES (17 citations):
Laws N37, "John (George) Riley II"
Randolph 56, "John Riley" (2 texts, 1 tune)
BrownII 93, "John Reilly" (1 text, presumably this song though Laws does not list it under any Riley ballad)
BrownSchinhanIV 93, "John Reilley" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 267-270, "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor" (3 texts; the second, "The Sailor," with tune on p. 427, is this song; the first, "Young Willie's Return, or The Token," with tune on pp. 426-427, is "The Dark-Eyed Sailor (Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor)" [Laws N35]; the third, "Billy Ma Hone," with tune on p. 427, seems to be its own song)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 135-136, "John Reilly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 34, "John Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire, p. 95, "John RIley" (1 text)
McNeil-SFB1, pp. 82-83, "Young John Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 168-170, "John Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 79, "John Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 210-211, "[John Riley]" (1 text, 1 tune, sufficiently abbreviated that the plot does not allow us to say which Riley ballad it is, but the first verse implies it goes here)
JHCox 95, "George Reilly" (1 text plus mention of 2 more; Laws is difficult to interpret on this point, but it appears he means one of Cox's un-printed texts to go here while the printed text in N36)
Hubbard, #36, "John Riley I" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
SHenry H826, p. 309, "James Reilly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 149, "John Riley" (1 text)

Roud #267
Pete Seeger, "John Riley" (on PeteSeeger02, PeteSeegerCD01) (on PeteSeeger29); "Johnny Riley" (on PeteSeeger40)
cf. esp. "John (George) Riley (I)" [Laws N36] and references there
George Riley
John Riley
Johnnie Riley
NOTES: The characteristic first verse of this particular Riley ballad runs something like
As I walked out one summer's morning
To take the fine and pleasant air,
There I spied a most beautiful damsel,
She appeared to me like lilies fair. - RBW
The first two Seeger recordings have distinctly different tunes. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.8
File: LN37

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