Shepherd's Lament, The
DESCRIPTION: A (shepherd) and a young girl meet on a May morning. He wishes to marry, but she is too young and wishes to work as a servant. After she has left to go into the lady's service, he writes to ask her intent. She says that she never intended to marry him
EARLIEST DATE: 1767 (Journal from the Vaughn)
KEYWORDS: love courting separation apprentice servant youth floatingverses
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 227-228, "The Shepherd's Lament" (1 text)
cf. "The Green Bushes [Laws P2]" (theme, floating lyrics)
NOTES: This song consists almost entirely of floating material, with "The Green Bushes" being perhaps the largest single source (they also have some thematic similarities). But the result, in Huntington's opinion and my own, is a distinct song.
I don't know of any other pure versions, but it has so many traditional elements that I decided to include it in the Index. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.