Dives and Lazarus [Child 56]

DESCRIPTION: Poor Lazarus comes to the rich man's door. The rich man (Dives/Diveres/Diverus) refuses to offer charity. Lazarus dies and is rewarded after death; the rich man suffers eternal punishment
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (Bramley & Stainer)
KEYWORDS: religious poverty punishment Hell
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,West)) US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Child 56, "Dives and Lazarus" (2 texts)
Bronson 56, "Dives and Lazarus" (13 versions, but #10-#12, given in an appendix, are "Lazarus (I)," and #9, a tune with no text, might also be something else)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 56, "Dives and Lazarus" (4 versions: #1, #3, #5, #13)
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, pp. 102-103, "Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leather-FolkLoreOfHerefordshire, pp. 190-191, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text plus some excerpts, 2 tunes)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 107, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #6}
Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #42, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #3}
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 177-179, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text)
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland2, pp. 74-75, "Dives and Lazarus" (a few scrapts of text, which Flanders places with Child #56 though none of the lines is characteristic of that song and one -- "even the whelps can eat crumbs" -- is not even part of the tale of Lazarus)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol1, pp. 41-44, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dearmer/VaughnWilliams/Shaw-OxfordBookOfCarols 57, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 2 tunes) {First Tune=Bronson's #3; Second Tune=Bronson's #1]
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 109, Dives and Lazarus"" (1 text)
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 24, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p. 153, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 33-34, "Diverus and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 583-584, "Dives and Laz'us" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: William Henry Husk, editor, Songs of the Nativity (London, 1884? ("Digitized by Microsoft")), pp. 95-97, ("As It Fell Out Upon a Day") (1 text)
Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, pp. 166-167, "Dives and Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #477
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Lazarus" (AFS; on LC57)
cf. "Lazarus and the Rich Man" (subject)
cf. "Lazarus (I)" (subject)
cf. "Poor Old Lazarus (I've Got a Home; Don't You See)" (subject)
cf. "The Rich Man and Lazarus" (subject)
cf. "Tramp on the Street" (subject)
cf. "The Rich Man and the Poor Man" (theme)
cf. "The Star of the County Down" (tune) and references there
NOTES [240 words]: There are a number of short pieces listed in the Stationer's Register under the title "Dives and Lazarus" or something similar. The earliest seems to be one titles "Dyves and Lazerus" registered in 1570/1571 to William Pickering (see Hyder E. Rollins, An Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (1557-1709) In the Register of the Company of Stationers of London, 1924 (I use the 1967 Tradition Press reprint with a new Foreword by Leslie Shepard), #614, p. 58). But there is no way to know if this or any of the other pieces is this song.
Jesus's story of the rich man and Lazarus -- which, be it noted, was a warning, not a description of an actual event -- is found in Luke 16:19-31 (the Lazarus of John 11, 12 is unrelated). The name "Dives/Divers" from the Latin dives, rich/rich man.
The Lomaxes seem to regard their text, "Dives and Laz'us," as a "Dives and Lazarus" variant. This seems rather a stretch -- the song is about Lazarus, but the form does not much resemble the Child ballad. But I have seen nothing similar elsewhere. Given the undeniable possibility of Lomax editorial work, I give in and list the song here.
In the folk revival, this song is most commonly sung to the tune of "The Star of the County Down." Most of the tunes in Bronson, however, are not of this type; indeed, the majority are in two, not three. - RBW
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs speculates that the tune given might belong with the text. - BS
Last updated in version 6.0
File: C056

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