Rich Irish Lady, A (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.) [Laws P9]

DESCRIPTION: Sally at first scorns a suitor, then changes her mind and calls for him. She admits that she is dying for love of him. He informs her that he intends to dance on her grave. She takes three rings from her fingers for him to wear while dancing, then dies
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1808 (journal by Hannah Lowell of Plum Island, Massachusetts)
KEYWORDS: courting dying funeral revenge sailor
FOUND IN: US(Ap,NE,MW,Ro,SE,So) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (47 citations):
Laws P9, "A Rich Irish Lady (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.)"
Bronson 295, "The Brown Girl" (49 versions, but very many of these, #1, #3, #8, #13, #16, #17, (#19), #24, #25, #35, #36, #41, #44 are listed by Laws as "A Rich Irish Lady," as is #8 though it mixes with "The Death of Queen Jane"; #2, #5, #10, #15, #20, #21, #29, #32a/b, #34, #37, #38(a), #45, #47, #49 are apparently LP9 as well; #4, #6, #7, #11, #31, #38b, #39, #42 are fragments which appear more likely to be LP9; #14, #22, #23, #27 are fragments identified by Laws with LP9 though this cannot be proved; #9 (from Baring-Gould) is definitely the Child version, and #33, #48 probably; #18 is a fragment that might be part of "Glenlogie"; #26, #28 have no text; #30, #40, #43 might be either)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 295, "The Brown Girl" (5 versions: #1, #20, #26, #41, #47, of which #41 and #47 are clearly this and some of the others might be)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #79, p. 1, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan6 1219, "The Sailor from Dover," Greig/Duncan8 Addenda, "Waly, Waly, Gin Love Be Bonny" (11 texts, 6 tunes)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 44, "The Brown Girl" (7 texts plus 4 fragments, 11 tunes, though the "D" fragment at least could be from "Glenlogie"; although listed as Child 295, every full text appears to be Laws P9; some of the fragments might be either) {Bronson's #17, #16, #14, #18, #42, [F not in Bronson], #36, #35, #41, #46, #22}
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, pp. 34-35, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 418-425, "Sally and Her True Love" (2 text plus 2 broadside versions, 3 tunes; the "A" text has an artificial happy ending carelessly grafted on) {Bronson's #1, #1, #19}
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 111-118, "A Brave Irish Lady" (5 rexts, 2 tunes; it appears that Laws does not consider one of these versions, probably version E, to be this song, but it certainly belongs to the same family)
Randolph 40, "Pretty Sally of London" (5 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes; it is possible that the fragment is Child #295) {A=Bronson's #44, B=#24, F=#15}
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 104-107, "Pretty Sally of London" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 40F) {Bronson's #15}
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 texts)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 excerpts, 3 tunes)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #177, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, titled "Pretty Sally," listed as Child #295 but properly this piece)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 27, pp. 128-130, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, listed as Child #295 but clearly this piece)
Hudson-FolkTunesFromMississippi 8, "The Rich Lady from London (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 50, "The Brown Girl" (8 texts plus 2 fragments, all versions of this rather than Child #295; 3 tunes, all entitled "The Brown Girl"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #42, #31, #23}
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 59, "The Rich Lady From Dublin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 37-38, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #45}
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 40-41, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, p. 98, "There Was a Young Lady" (1 fragment; tune on p. 389) {Bronson's #38b}
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 26, "The Brown Girl" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 160-161, "The Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 244-2426, "The Fair Damsel from London" (1 text from the Green Mountain Songster)
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland4, pp. 285-291, "The Irish Lady, or Sally from London" (2 texts, one of them being from the Green Mountain Songster; 1 tune, lacking lyrics but said to be this piece)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 52, "Fair Lady of London" (1 text)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 64, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune, listed as Child 295)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 29, "Fair Sally (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version) {Bronson's #1}
Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland 24, "Pretty Sally" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 114, "Pretty Sally" (4 texts plus mention of 2 more; Laws does not list the "B" text as belonging here, but it clearly does.)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol3, pp. 45-46, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 100-101, "Pretty Sarah" (1 text, 1 tune, which seems a little confused about who does the rejection but on the basis of lyrics belongs here rather than with Child 295)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, pp. 42-43, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #19, "The Brown Girl" (1 short text)
VaughanWilliams/Lloyd-PenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs, p. 92, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #10}
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H72, pp. 374-375, "Am I the Doctor?" (1 text, 1 tune -- a version with the hatred toned down and with verses reminiscent of "Glenlogie")
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 111-112, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 678-680, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, but "B" is Laws P9)
Aston-Sailor, #70, "Sally and Billy" (1 text)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 135-136, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 146, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN2324, "A seaman of Dover, sweet William by name"
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W Amos Abrams, "Della Adams Bostic: Sweet Singer of Old Songs," Vol. XXI, No. 3 (Sep 1973), pp. 145-146, "Sweet Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Pure Coincidence -- If Not, Why Not?," Vol. XXI, No. 4 (Nov 1973), p., 179-180 "Sweet Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Horton Barker: Folk Singer Supreme," Vol. XXII, No. 4 (Nov 1974), p. 152, "Pretty Sally" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Paul Robertson, "Ballads & Bytes: The Digitally Reproduced Folksong Collections of Dr. I. G. Greer and Dr. W. Amos Abrams" Vol. LV, No. 2 (Fall-Winter 2008), p. 56, "The Brown Girl" (1 partial text, a reproduction of the last page of a decorated manuscript copy; based on the reproduction, it's hard to tell if it is Child 295 or Laws P9, but it's clearly one or the other)

Roud #180
Loman D. Cansler, "Sally" (on Cansler1)
Cas Wallin, "Fine Sally" (on OldLove, DarkHoll) {cf. Bronson's #14}

Bodleian, Harding B 28(284), "The Sailor from Dover" ("There was a young sailor, from Dover he came"), unknown, no date; Harding B 25(1689), "The Sailor from Sunderland"
cf. "The Brown Girl (I)" [Child 295]
cf. "Glenlogie, or, Jean o Bethelnie" [Child 238] (lyrics in some texts)
The English Lady Gay
Fine Sally
NOTES [178 words]: Considered by some to be a variant of "The Brown Girl" (Child #295). The plot is identical except that the male and female roles are reversed. Laws declares that the two should be considered separate but related ballads. This agrees with, e.g., Cohen, Cox, and Randolph, but disagrees with Pound, Sharp, Davis, Scarborough, Flanders (naturally; she's lumped more absurd things than this) and (tentatively) Hudson, as well as (implicitly) Hubbard, Bronson and Roud. - RBW
Some of the Greig/Duncan6 texts and the Bodleian broadsides actually end happily by adding a last verse along these lines:
On hearing this the sailor began much to rue:
Said he, my dearest Sally, I've long admir'd you;
Then lay aside your grieving, for I will constant prove,
To-morrow we'll be married, and happy live, my love.
Greig/Duncan6 deduces that Greig's text is a composite of Greig/Duncan6 1219K and 1219J.
In "The Sailor from Sunderland," the sailor relents and the couple are married. - BS
I added "sailor" as a keyword because at least some versions have a sailor as a protagonist. -PJS
Last updated in version 6.1
File: LP09

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