Cupid's Garden (I) (Covent Garden I; Lovely Nancy III)

DESCRIPTION: The singer wanders down to (Cupid's/Covent) Garden and meets (lovely Nancy). He asks her if she will marry him. She says she will remain a virgin and/or she has another lover. He hopes to return and marry her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1767 (Journal from the Leopard)
KEYWORDS: sailor love courting rejection
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North,South),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Greig #155, p. 2, "Covent's Garden"; Greig #151, p. 3, "Covent's Garden"; Greig #157, p. 2, "Covent Garden" (3 texts including 2 fragments)
GreigDuncan5 970, "Covent's Garden" (5 texts, 3 tunes)
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 90-92, "Covent Garden"; pp. 92-94, "Cupid's Garden" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Stokoe/Reay, pp. 186-187, "'Twas Down in Cupid's Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 487, "Cupid's Garden" (1 text)
CopperSeason, pp. 252-253, "Cupid's Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #23, "Cupid's Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ashton-Sailor, #68, "Cupid's Garden" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #1914, p. 129, "The 'Prentice Boy" (2 references)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), pp. 91-91\2, "William and Dinah" (1 text, which seems to consist of the opening of "Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah)" [Laws M31A/B" with the happy ending of "Cupid's Garden (I) (Covent Garden I; Lovely Nancy III)" or something similar grafted onto the end)

Roud #297
Bodleian, Harding B 28(40), "Cupid's Garden" or "The 'Prentice Boy," W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Firth c.12(291), 2806 c.17(85), Harding B 28(137), Harding B 15(77b), Johnson Ballads 491, "Cupid's Garden", Harding B 20(119) , "Cupid's Garden" or "The Laurel Wear" ("It was down in Covent Garden "), J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866, Harding B 28(255), "Laurel Wear" ("Its down in Cupid's garpen [sic] for pleasure I did go")
LOCSinging, sb30414b, "The 'Prentice Boy," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also as111300, as111310, "The 'Prentice Boy"

NOTES [126 words]: The versions of this text I have seen are, without exception, confused. The above plot summary is the best I can come up with.
Laws M12, "The Apprentice Boy," displays versions with this title, and both are about sailors and their loves. It's just possible that this is a badly damaged form of the Laws ballad. But I incline to think this is a separate song.
According to Roud/Bishop, p. 394, "Cuper's Garden was a formal pleasure garden opened by Abraham Boydell Cuper about 1691, and until the 1750s was a well-known entertainment venue for Londoners." - RBW
Broadside LOCSinging sb30414b: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 4.4
File: SWMS090

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