Rover (I), The
DESCRIPTION: The singer is leaving [for the army] but will return. Polly sits him down and reveals her love for him. He writes a song about her. Leaving, he crosses the moor and cries when he loses sight of her door. At least one of them thinks they will marry
EARLIEST DATE: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 977); before 1867 (broadside , Bodleian Firth c.18(241)) [see notes]
KEYWORDS: grief love farewell parting floatingverses
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North,South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Reeves-Sharp 83, "The Rover" (2 texts)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 411, "Rover"; Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 511, "Rover" (2 texts)
Kidson-Tunes, pp. 147-148, "I Am a Rover" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 977, "The Rover" ("I am a rover 'tis well known"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Firth c.18(241), "I Am a Rover" ("I am a rover it is well known"), J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; Harding B 11(3345), "The Rover"; Harding B 25(1598), "The Rashiemuir"; Firth c.26(30), "The Bonny girl I left behind"
NOTES: The five verse Bodleian Johnson Ballads 977, the earliest of the broadsides listed, only shares its first verse with the other texts; the remaining verses are made up of floating couplets ("Did you not mention his coal black hair His smiling looks doth my heart ensnare" [cf. "The Colour of Amber," "The Dark-Eyed Sailor"]; "I wish I was upon yonder hill I'd set me down and cry my fill" [cf. "Shule Agra"]; "That all the world might plainly see, That I lov'd a man that never loved me" [cf. "Effects of Love"]; "How could I act such a foolish part To love a young man who broke my heart" [cf. "The Butcher Boy" Randolph 45B per Mudcat Cafe]; "I wish I never lov'd at all Since Love has proved my downfall" [cf. "The Darling Boy"]) and ends differently from the main story line of this song: "If Cupid would but set me free, I would seek another that would love me.... But now Cupid has set me free, I will seek another who will love me."
The main story line may include one or more floating verse, by Polly: usually "... I wish I was a maid again ...."
The word "moor" in the description replaces "rashiemuir," "Belsimore," "Dollimoor," "Dulcimore" or "Dannamore." - BS
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