Turkish Lady, The [Laws O26]

DESCRIPTION: A British ship is captured by the Turks and its crew enslaved. The singer suffers until his owner offers to free him if he will accept Islam and marry her. He refuses to abandon Christianity. She eventually decides to turn Christian and marry him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1782 (broadside, "Four Excellent New Songs")
KEYWORDS: love courting religious sailor foreigner
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar) Britain(England(South),Scotland)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Laws O26, "The Turkish Lady"
Logan, pp. 11-18, "The Turkish Lady" (1 text)
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 141-143, "The Turkish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 35, "The Turkish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 123-124, "Turkish Rover" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 13, "Turkish Rover" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 17, "The Turkish Lady" (2 texts)
BBI, ZN797, "Down in a cypress grove as I was lying" (?)

ST LO26 (Full)
Roud #8124
Bodleian, Harding B 17(322b)[tear: words missing], "The Turkish Lady," T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Harding B 11(3907), Firth c.13(303), Harding B 11(1973), Harding B 25(1958), "The Turkish Lady"
cf. "Young Beichan" [Child 53]
cf. "The Araby Maid" (subject)
cf. "Mustang Gray (The Maid of Monterey)" (plot)
cf. "The Belfast Sailor" (theme)
NOTES [95 words]: This song is sometimes treated as a variant of "Young Beichan" [Child 53]. The setting, obviously, is similar -- but the difference in the ending marks them as separate ballads. "Young Beichan" stresses the lover's return; "The Turkish Lady," the change in the woman's faith (which, incidentally, was a dangerous thing to do: Islam tolerates Christianity, but many Islamic cultures do not tolerate turning from Islam to Christianity. Though the direct comment on an Islamic woman marrying a pagan, in the Quran, Surah 60:11, merely requires the recovery of her dowry). - RBW
File: LO26

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