Soldier's Poor Little Boy, The [Laws Q28]

DESCRIPTION: A poor boy, trapped in a severe storm, comes to a lady's door to ask for shelter. He explains that his mother is dead and his father gone to war. The lady lets him in and tells him to stay as long as he has to, for her own son has fallen (in battle)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1904 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety); 19C (Wolf-AmericanSongSheets)
KEYWORDS: orphan mercy father death soldier family
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Laws Q28, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy"
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 177, "Poor Old Soldier Boy" (1 text)
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 100, "The Little Soldier's Boy" (1 text)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 43, "The Friendless Soldier Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 273-275, "A Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 134, "A Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 text)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 93, pp. 117-118, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (2 texts)
Randolph 718, "A Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
High-OldOldFolkSongs, p. 32, "A Soldiers Little Boy" (1 text)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 154, "A Poor Little Sailor Boy" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 73, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (2 texts)
Cox/Hercog/Halpert/Boswell-WVirginia-A, #28, p. 104, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, p. 159, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, p. 161, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 151, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (2 texts)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 151, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 67, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (2 texts plus mention of 3 more)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #103, "The Poor Little Soldier Boy" (2 text, 1 tune)
Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, pp. 284-285, "The Soldier's Poor Little Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #1901, p. 128, "The Poor Little Soldier's Boy" (3 references); #2152, p. 145, "The Soldier's Homeless Boy" (7 references)
cf. Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan, p. 482, "The Soldier's Boy" (source notes only)

Roud #258
cf. "The Fisherman's Boy" [Laws Q29] (plot)
cf. "The Farmer's Boy" [Laws Q30] (plot)
cf. "The Fisherman's Girl" (plot)
cf. "The Poor Smuggler's Boy" (plot)
NOTES [92 words]: Cox reports this in a Philadelphia broadside attributed to Charles Bender, but it is obviously older and more widespread. Both Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety and Laws mention it as having British antecedents, but the only British occurrences are in broadsides.
The Warner tune is described as a variant of "The Star of the County Down." The other versions generally have a different melody. Wolf-AmericanSongSheets has one text listed as being to "The Summer Eve is Gliding" and another that claims music by David A. Warden. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LQ28

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