Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token) [Laws N42]

DESCRIPTION: A girl refuses to be courted by a stranger, saying she will wait for her love. The stranger counters that he may be slain, drowned, or unfaithful; she says she will be faithful anyway. He pulls out his locket, revealing him as her lost, and now rich, love
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1822
KEYWORDS: courting separation brokentoken
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,SE,So,SW) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland West Indies(Bahamas)
REFERENCES (58 citations):
Laws N42, "Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token)"
Belden, pp. 148-151, "A Sweetheart in the Army" (3 texts plus references to 2 more, 1 tube)
Randolph 55, "The Maiden in the Garden" (3 texts plus 1 fragment and 1 excerpt, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 97-99, "The Maiden in the Garden" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 55A)
Bronner-Eskin1 11, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Eddy 51, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peters, pp. 165-166, "The Broken Ring" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 92, "A Pretty Fair Maid in the Garden" (1 text)
BrownIII 12, "Madam, I Have Gold and Silver" (1 text, starting with "Wheel of Fortune" but ending with a "Ripest of Apples" verse and ending with a Riley stanza, from this or some other ballad of this type)
BrownSchinhanIV 92, "A Pretty Fair Maid Down in the Garden" (2 texts plus 12 excerpt, 14 tunes)
Chappell-FSRA 68, "Betty Fair Miss" (1 text, 1 tune)
JonesLunsford, p. 202, "The Pretty Fair Miss (Soldier's Return)" (1 text, 1 tune)
ReedSmith, #XV, "A Pretty Fair Miss" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #186, "Pretty Fair Maid" (2 texts, 1 tune); #201, "Sailor's Return" (1 text, which opens with a "No, John, No" stanza)
Hudson 36, pp. 160-151, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (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 this)
Boswell/Wolfe 72, pp. 118-119, "Pretty Fair Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 260-264, "The True Sweetheart," "Pretty Fair Maid," "A Pretty Fair Damsel," "A Lily Fair Damsel," The True Sweetheart" (5 texts, mostly rather short; 4 tunes on pp.423-425); in addition, p. 265, "A Soldier Boy," opens with stanzas from this song, but the conclusion is "William Hall (The Brisk Young Farmer)" [Laws N30]
SharpAp 98, "The Broken Token" (6 texts, 6 tunes)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 134-139, "Broken Ring Song" (5 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-NovaScotia 28, "Broken Ring" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, p. 59, "Broken Ring Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 24, "Broken Ring Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 584-589, "Seven Years I Loved a Sailor" (3 texts, 3 tunes; the "C" text, "Flowery Garden," grafts the "Poison in a Glass of Wine" theme (cf. "Oxford City" [Laws P30]) as the ending)
Fowke/MacMillan 65, "The Sailor's Return" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 63, "The Single Sailor" (2 texts)
Leach, pp. 701-703, "A Sweetheart in the Army" (2 texts)
Reeves-Circle 15, "The Broken Token" (1 text)
RoudBishop #71, "Fair Maid Walking in Her Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn 2, "A Lady Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
McBride 47, "The Lady Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
OBoyle, p. 34, "A Lady Fair" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
OCroinin-Cronin 184, "There Was a Lady In Her Father's Garden" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Graham/Holmes 45, "A Maid in a Floewery Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Grainger 7, "A Fair Maid Walking All in Her Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 88, "The Sweetheart in the Army" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, pp. 77-78, "Soldier, Won't You Marry Me?" (1 text, in which, despite the title, the soldier asks the girl to marry, not the reverse)
Cambiaire, pp. 64-65, "The Soldier's Return (A Pretty Fair Maid)" (1 text)
Moore-Southwest 83, "The Cowboy's Return" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 91-92, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, pp. 46-48, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
FSCatskills 22, "Johnny Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
McNeil-SFB1, pp. 80-81, "Miss Mary Belle" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 68-69, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp. 326-327, "The Brisk Young Sailor" (1 text)
Greig #23, p. 1, "The Sailor" (1 text)
GreigDuncan5 1038, "The Single Sailor" (26 texts plus a single verse on p. 617, 16 tunes)
GreigDuncan6 1201, "She Put Her Hand into Her Bosom" (1 fragment)
Lyle-Crawfurd2 89, "Mary and Willie" (1 text)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 104-105, "The Young and Single Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 625, "Maid and the Sailor"; Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 307, "Maid and the Sailor" (2 texts)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 117-118, "A Pretty Fair Miss All in a Garden" (1 text, 1 tune); also pp. 222-223 (1 tune, partial text)
JHCox 92, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (2 texts plus mention of 4 more; the "B" text includes stanzas from "Wheel of Fortune (Dublin City, Spanish Lady)")
SHenry H471, p. 317, "The Broken Ring" (1 text, 1 tune); also probably H818, pp. 317-318, "Green Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 27, "The Sailor's Return" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
DT 462, JREILLY* JREILLY3* JREILLY5
ADDITIONAL: W. Christie, editor, Traditional Ballad Airs (Edinburgh, 1876 (downloadable pdf by University of Edinburgh, 2007)), Vol I, pp. 264-265, "The Poor and Single Sailor" (1 tune)
James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin" by Asher E. Treat, p. 227, "A Fair Damsel in a Garden" (1 text, 1 tune, sung by Pearl Jacobs Borusky)
Elsie Clews Parsons, "Spirituals and Other Folklore from the Bahamas" in _The Journal of American Folklore_, Vol. 41, No. 162 (Oct-Dec 1928 (made available online by JSTOR)), Toasts and other verses: Abaco p. 467, ("One day I was walkin' along the street") (1 text)

Roud #264
RECORDINGS:
Clarence Ashley, "Pretty Fair Damsel" (on CloseHomeMS)
Mary Cash, "Lady in Her Father's Garden" (on IRTravellers01)
Elizabeth Cronin, "There Was a Lady In Her Father's Garden" (on IRECronin01)
Cousin Emmy [Cynthia May Carver], "Pretty Fair Miss Out In the Garden" (Decca 24213, 1947; on ConstSor1)
Louise Foreacre, "Down in Grandma's Garden" (on Stonemans01)
Warde & Pat Ford, "The Soldier's Sweetheart" (AFS 4204 B1, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Sarah Hawkes, "Returning Sweetheart" (on Persis1)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Fair Miss in the Garden" (on Holcomb1) (on FOTM)
Maggie Murphy, "Seven Years Since I Had a Sweetheart" (on IRHardySons)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Pretty Fair Miss Out in the Garden" (on NLCR06)
Dellie Norton, "Pretty Fair Miss in Her Garden" (on DarkHoll)
Sarah Anne O'Neill, "Standing in Yon Flowery Garden" (on Voice10)
Mrs. Clara Stevens, "Seven Years I Loved a Sailor" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Mrs. William Towns, "A Fair Maid Walked in her Father's Garden" (on Ontario1)
Doug Wallin, "Pretty Fair Miss in a Garden" (on Wallins1)
Martin Young & Corbett Grigsby, "Pretty Fair Miss in the Garden" (on MMOKCD)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 17(180a), "The Loyal Sailor," J. Ferraby (Hull), 1803-1838; also Harding B 11(4354), Firth c.12(335), "Young and Single Sailor"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "John (George) Riley (I)" [Laws N36] and references there
cf. "The Bleacher Lassie" (tune, per GreigDuncan5)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Sailor's Return
The Single Soldier
John Riley (III)
Flowery Garden
The Sailor Boy
The Sailor's Return
Seven Years I Loved a Sailor
A Lady in Her Garden Walking
A Fair Maid
A Lady Walking
NOTES: Eddy's version of this piece may be the only one of these disguised love songs in which the man admits what he is: A creep who sneaks up on his faithful true love.
The second Sam Henry version, "Green Garden," is marked as Laws N42 but with a question mark. I understand the editors' hesitation, but there are enough links to other texts of the song that I think we can list it here. It's not as if we need another Broken Token ballad....
Paul Stamler suggested filing Art Thieme's song "That's the Ticket" here. Since this index occasionally pretends to something resembling scholarship, I couldn't bring myself to do it. But if you want to see the essence of Broken Token absurdity, that song (on Thieme03) probably sums it up as well as is humanly possible. - RBW
The last three verses of Mary Cash's version on IRTravellers01 are the "Phoenix Island" verses from "O'Reilly from the County Leitrim": as a result, the suitor is finally rejected. Jim Carroll's notes to IRTravellers01 cite another version from Mary Delaney who "had the suitor even more fimly rejected:
For it's seven years brings an alteration,
And seven more brings a big change to me,
Oh, go home young man,
choose another sweetheart,
Your serving maid I'm not here to be."
Mary Delaney's "Phoenix Island" on IRTravellers01 is even more extreme (see notes to "O'Reilly from the County Leitrim," which generally ends unfavorably for the suitor).
GreigDuncan6 seems a poorly remembered fragment of the Laws N42 broken ring verse with sexes reversed: "She put her hand into her bosom With fingers neat and small And pulled out the gay gold ring I gave her at the ball" instead of "He put his hand into his pocket, His fingers they being long and small, Pulled out the ring that was broke between them; And when she saw it she down did fall." If there had been another verse there might have been a reason to assign it somewhere else. - BS
The motif of a virtuous girl in a garden is an ancient one. A source that would have been well-known in medieval times is that of Susanna, found in the apocryphal/deuterocanonical additions to the book of Daniel. This story invited elaboration -- and, indeed, we find such elaboration in the Middle English alliterative poem "A Pistel of Susan." This was popular enough to survive in five manuscripts (which is a substantial number), with the earliest being from the late fourteenth century (see Thorlac Turville-Petre, Alliterative Poetry of the Later Middle Ages: An Anthology, Routledge, 1989, p. 120).
On p. 121, Turville-Petre adds, "Susan is based on the story of Susan and the Elders.... The poet makes two notable alterations. In place of the account of how the Elders secretly burned with lust for Susan.... (Daniel xiii.10-14), the poet substitutes an extended description of Susan's garden (ll. 66-117). He also adds a moving stanza describing Susan's farewell-meeting with her husband Joachim after her condemnation (ll. 248-60). The effect of both alterations is to focus attention and sympathy on Susan."
On p. 122, Turville-Petre declares that the story in the Pistel makes Susan a romance heroine, from which it is only one step to a ballad. He also compares the story of Emily in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, lines 1034-1055. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: LN42

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