Keeper, The

DESCRIPTION: Keeper goes hunting for a doe. In some versions he chases several unsuccessfully.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (Reeves-Sharp)
KEYWORDS: hunting animal dialog
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South,West)) US(SE)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Sharp-100E 79, "The Keeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 52, "The Keeper" (1 text)
Reeves-Circle, pp. 289-290, "The Keeper" (1 text)
RoudBishop #111, "The Keeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownSchinhanV 680, "The Keeper" (1 short text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 59, "The Keeper" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 338, "The Keeper" (1 text)
DT, KEEPERGO*
ADDITIONAL: Roy Palmer, _The Folklore of Warwickshire_, Rowman and Littlefield, 1976, p.147, "(The Keeper)" (1 text)

Roud #1519
RECORDINGS:
Pete Seeger, "The Keeper and the Doe" (on PeteSeeger09, PeteSeegerCD02) (on PeteSeeger18)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "En Jaeger Gik At Jage (A Hunter Went Out Hunting)" (general feeling)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Keeper Would A-Hunting Go
Warwickshire
NOTES: Most of the song consists of back-and-forth singing of the chorus between two singers. B.J. Orton thinks there is a sexual or magical subtext to this song. I doubt it, myself. -PJS
I have to disagree with Paul; at least one text refers to the Keeper kissing a doe, and another doe "[running] away in a young man's heart." There is surely some sort of hidden meaning. The real question is, how far did Sharp bowdlerize what he found? Based on Palmer, the original was basically clean, but highly suggestive. - RBW
Reeves-Sharp: "... Baring-Gould ... wrote: 'I have been compelled to rewrite most of the song, which in the original is very gross." - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: ShH79

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.