Courting Case, The

DESCRIPTION: Man comes courting a woman. She reminds him that she told him never to return. He offers her his "very fine house," his "very fine farm," his "very fine horse," etc.; (she rejects them all because he is a gambler/drunkard/whatever).
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: gambling courting dialog money rejection
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Lomax-FSNA 104, "The Gambling Suitor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 361, "The Courting Cage" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 3, "The Courting Cage" (2 texts)
BrownSchinhanV 3, "The Courting Cage" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Chappell-FSRA 120, "The Drunkard's Courtship" (1 text)
Hudson 52, pp. 167-169, "O Madam, I Have a Fine Little Horse" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 304-307, "Kind Sir" (2 texts, one, "The Courting Cage," coming from Randolph; 2 tunes on pp.436-437)
SharpAp 177, "The Courting Case" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering 173, "The Wooing" (2 texts, the "A" text being this and "B" being probably "Wheel of Fortune (Dublin City, Spanish Lady)")
Chase, pp. 146-147, "The Gambling Suitor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gilbert, pp. 76-77, "The Girl Who Never Would Wed" (1 text, in which the girl never gives in, but the verses place it here)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 118-119, "The Drunkard's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, COURTCAS COURTNG*

Roud #361
RECORDINGS:
Horton Barker, "The Drunkard's Courtship" (on Barker01)
Loman D. Cansler, "The Lovers' Quarrel" (on Cansler1)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Keys of Canterbury" (theme)
cf. "Sweet Nelly My Heart's Delight" (plot)
cf. "Geordie's Courtship (I Wad Rather a Garret)" (plot)
cf. "Bachelor's Hall (III)" (theme)
NOTES: In most versions of this song, the man says he has, or is, a "courting cage," which (presumably because it sounds so strange) is sometimes changed to a "courting case." But I wonder if, by any chance, the original was a "courting cake," which, according to Arnold Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition, and Folklore, revised edition, Smith Settle, 2002, p. 39, is a "kind of sandwich cake traditionally made by girls for their boyfriends." This might explain much about the strange first line of the song -- if only we could explain how a Yorkshire term came to be used in an American song (the song seems to be almost entirely American; there is at least one Canadian version, but I know of none from the British Isles).
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R361

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