Geordie's Courtship (I Wad Rather a Garret)
DESCRIPTION: "A maid of vain glory, with grandeur and pride Was asked by a ploughman for to be his bride." She rejects him, saying she would prefer to be hanged. He lists his assets. She still scorns him. He concludes, "I swear you shall never get me for a man."
AUTHOR: probably John Milne (source: Greig #129 quoting John Ord)
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (Milne's Selection of Songs and Poems)
KEYWORDS: courting rejection curse
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Greig #120, pp. 2-3, "Plooman Geordie" (1 text)
GreigDuncan4 827, "I Wad Rather a Garret" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Ord, pp. 204-205, "Geordie Asking Miss Tiptoe in Marriage" (1 text)
cf. "The Courting Case" (plot)
cf. "The Lass o' Glenshee" (tune, per Greig)
cf. "The Hills o' Glenorchy" (tune, per Greig)
NOTES: That this is a composed song is beyond doubt. My only hesitation in attributing it to Milne is the diversity of the forms found in tradition; nearly every collection has a different title and even some difference in form. It's hard to imagine that much variation arising in the few decades between Milne's publication and the early collections.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this were inspired by "The Courting Case" or something similar. - RBW
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