Juniper Tree, The

DESCRIPTION: "Oh sister Phoebe, how merry we were The night we sat under the juniper tree...." "So put this hat on, it will keep your head warm, And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm." Phoebe and/or the boy are encouraged to get married
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Newell)
KEYWORDS: playparty courting clothes
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,SE,So) West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Wolford, pp. 80-81=WolfordRev, pp. 186-187, "Old Sister Phoebe" (1 text, 1 tune)
McIntosh, pp. 63-64, "Oh Sister Phoebe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 540, "The Juniper Tree" (5 texts, 1 tune; the "D" text may be a parody)
Hudson 151, pp. 298-299, "Under the Juniper Tree" (1 text)
HudsonTunes 29A-B, "Under the Juniper Tree" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
Ritchie-Southern, p. 9, "Sister Phoebe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #129, "Old Sister Phoebe" (1 text, 1 text)
Jekyll 96, "Mother Phoebe" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Roberts, _Folk-Games of Jamaica_ (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College, 1922 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #48 p. 59, "Old Mother Fibbie" (2 texts, 1 tune)

Roud #4507
cf. "Fare You Well, Sister Phoebe" (tune, in Wolford's version)
NOTES [105 words]: A kising game, according to Ritchie, though a few texts are slightly fuller.
It is interesting to note that the two sit courting under a *juniper* tree (although in Morris, it's a green apple tree). According to Peter MacInnis, Poisons (originally published as The Killer Bean of Calabar and Other Stories), 2004 (I use the 2005 Arcade paperback), p. 97, the oil of the Juniperus sabina is an abortifacient, the juniper berries were sometimes thought to end pregnancies. So making out while under a juniper might be thought to prevent pregnancy -- although apparently not all junipers make the particular chemical involved. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: R540

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