Blythe, Blythe and Merry Was She
DESCRIPTION: "Blythe, blythe and merry was she Blythe was she butt and ben Blythe when she gaed to bed And blyther when she rose again."
EARLIEST DATE: 1828 (Chambers)
KEYWORDS: sex nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Picture of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1828 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I, p. 166, ("Blythe, blythe, and merry was she")
cf. "Blythe Was She" (some lines) and references there
cf. "Greense's Bonny Lass" (half the chorus and the sense of the chorus)
NOTES: Chambers: "It is, moreover, handed down by tradition, that a daughter of one of the early chiefs of Scots -- a young lady of great beauty -- was the heroine of the first song to the tune of 'Andro and his Cuttie Gun;" which commenced with the fiollowing stanza: [text in DESCRIPTION]"
GreigDuncan4 quoting Duncan: "Probably the song is the predecessor of Burns's and suggested it."
It is tempting to lump this with "Greense's Bonny Lass"; it could easily have been the chorus to that song instead of .".. Blithe when I gaed in the gate, And blithe to bid me come again."
The chorus to Burns's "Blythe Was She": "Blythe, blythe and merry was she, Blythe was she butt and ben; Blythe by the banks of Earn, And blythe in Glenturit glen." (Source: Robert Burns, The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (New Lanark,2005), pp. 216-217). Other songs to consider, in trying to place this song include:
The beginning of "Andro and his Cutty Gun": "Blyth, blyth, blyth was she, Blyth was she butt and ben; And we'el she loo'd a Hawick gill, And leugh to fee a tappit hen." (Source: David Herd, editor, Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc. (Edinburgh, 1870 (reprint of 1776)), Vol II, pp. 18-19).
Lines from "The Lass That Made the Bed to Me": "Blythe and merry may she be, The lass that made the bed to me." (Source: Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol I, pp. 243-244). Chambers says "There is an older and coarser song ...." - BS
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