Streams of Lovely Nancy, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer (a sailor?) describes the "streams of lovely Nancy", a mountain with a castle, his beloved (who lives in the castle), a river, and a ship. He ends by addressing all "streamers"; he will write to his love, "For her rosy lips entice me..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(29))
LONG DESCRIPTION: In this extremely confused song, the singer (probably a sailor) describes the "streams of lovely Nancy", a mountain with a castle, his beloved (who lives in the castle), a river, and a ship from the Indies. He ends by addressing all "streamers" (tin-miners washing ore?), saying he will write to his love, "For her rosy lips entice me, with her tongue she tells me 'No'/And a angel might direct us right, and where shall we go?"
KEYWORDS: love rejection lyric nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,West)) Ireland US(MW,SE) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 98, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 294-295, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Circle 126, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (2 texts; the "B" and "C" texts are this, while "A" is "Nellie (I)")
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 714, "Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text)
Hodgart, p. 149, "The Streams of lovely Nancy" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 26, "Green Mountain" (1 text)
Peters, pp. 120-121, "Green Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune, probably this although its four verses never mention Lovely Nancy)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 64, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
SHenry H520, p. 259, "The Strands of Magilligan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Graham/Holmes 72, "The Strands og Magilligan" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 280, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (a reprint of a W. Armstrong broadside)
DT, LOVNANCY* (erroneously titled "The Steams of Lovely Nancy")

Roud #688
RECORDINGS:
Turp Brown, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (on Voice02)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 28(29), "The Streams of Lovely Nancy," W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Harding B 11(3678), Firth b.34(282), Harding B 11(3677), Harding B 11(3678A), Harding B 11(825), Firth c.13(24), Harding B 11(3679)[some words illegible], 2806 c.17(410), 2806 c.17(409)[some words illegible], Harding B 15(320a), Harding B 11(1519), Firth b.26(542)[some words illegible], "[The] Streams of Lovely Nancy"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Cursor Mundi" (14th century religious poem, sharing images)
cf. "The Ploughboy (I)" (lyrics)
cf. "If I Were a Fisher" (floating verses)
cf. "Farewell, Sweet Mary" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Nellie (I)" (lyrics)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Streams of Nantsian
Faithful Emma
The Dreams of Lovely Nancy
NOTES: All versions of this song seem to be equally mysterious. Lloyd quotes A.G. Gilchrist as speculating, with evidence, that this song is actually a relic of a hymn to Mary. -PJS
Margaret Dean-Smith offers the speculation that "streams/streamers" refer not to flowing waters but to "streamers," who worked in tin mines. If that helps. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: VWL098

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