Allan o Maut (I) (Why should not Allan Honoured Be)
DESCRIPTION: Allan's foster father finds him dying. He calls for help but Allan is attacked and bound. Nevertheless, Allan gets the best of everyone. The singer says that, although Allan leaves him moneyless, he should be honored.
EARLIEST DATE: 1568 (Bannatyne); 1803 (Jamieson)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Allan's foster father finds him lying, dying beyond the farm. When his head breaks open a nurse is sent for; she secretly bringst men of war. They attack and bind him so he cannot flee. Allan's helmet is a wooden cup, passed from hand to hand. Allan lies in a barrel at Christmas and has no equal. Whomever meets Allan, no matter how gallant, cannot confront him without falling to the floor. Allan grows so strong that he sets his mark -- a red nose -- on clerks' face. The singer complains that Allan "leaves no money" in his purse. Nevertheless, he is benign, courteous, and good. Why shouldn't he be honored?
KEYWORDS: violence drink farming
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 283-284, "Allan-a-Maut" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: George Bannatyne and James Barclay Murdoch, editor, The Bannatyne Manuscript Compiled by George Bannatyne 1568 (Glasgow:Hunterian Club, 1896 ("Digitized by Intenet Archive")) Vol.II, #118 pp. 306-308, "Quhy Sowld Nocht Allane Honorot Be?" (1 text)
Robert Jamieson, Popular Ballads and Songs (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co, 1806 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol.II, pp. 233-236, "Allan-a-Maut" (1 text).
David Laing, Early Popular Poetry of Scotland and the Northern Border (London: Reeves and Turner (Revision of 1822 and 1826 edition by W. Carew Hazlitt ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. II, pp. 61-63, "Allane-a'-Maut" ("Quhen he was yung, and cled in grene")
cf. "John Barleycorn (I)" (theme: the tale of brewing) and references there
NOTES: Jamieson is the first, as far as I can find, to reprint the song from the Bannatyne MS.
"Allan o Maut (I)" is one of six Allan o' Maut / John Barleycorn songs analyzed first by Jamieson, later by Dixon, and most recently by Wood. Their analyses are discussed at "John Barleycorn (I)." Each of the six songs has been given its own Index entry for clarity's sake. In the case of "Allan o Maut (I)" there is no carry over of lines to or from any of the other five songs, and it has not been "collected." While there are echoes of this song no lines are shared with the other five songs in the set.
See Laing for the background of the text.
The Laing/Whitelaw text preserves the middle Scots typography and vocabulary. You have choices if you need help with that.
Jamieson Vol. II and Bannatyne Vol. I have glossaries.
Aytoun translates the typography but not the vocabulary. See William Edmondstoune Aytoun, The Ballads of Scotland (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1859 ("Digitized by Microsoft")), Vol. I, pp. 103-105, "Allan-A-Maut" (1 text).
Wood translates the vocabulary. I used Wood for the Description [Peter Wood, "John Barleycorn: The Evolution of a Folk-Song Family," Folk Music Journal, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2004, pp. 452-453]. Wood's article is discussed in the Notes to "John Barleycorn" (III).- BS
Last updated in version 3.2
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.