DESCRIPTION: The singer tells her father and mother that her juggler "is an angel" and she goes with him. They ride on his "gold steed" made of stone. In the morning she sees her lover he has one eye. She decides to go home and take his magic horse but finds it gone.
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Greig/Duncan7)
KEYWORDS: seduction return trick horse
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Greig/Duncan7 1401, "The Juggler" (1 text)
NOTES [244 words]: Greig/Duncan7 quoting Bell Robertson [1841-1922]: "This one I got from Janet Taylor when a child learning to read. I never could get any more of it or find anyone who had ever heard it or off it. It is very old."
In this story nothing is what it seems. This "angel"/juggler/beggar [see the note below], at least, seems to have "the power to cloud men's minds." Is there magic or fairy business here? A suspicious verse, considering the numbers and the horse, runs "There were four-and-twenty jugglers Led the lady to the ha', And as many bonnie boys Led his steed to the sta'"
Bruce Olson on his site, at "Some Old Songs, A Personal Choice," makes the Greig/Duncan7 text a sequel to "The Jolly Beggar" [Child 279]. In that ballad, to repeat its description in this index, "A beggar asks lodging. He is admitted to the house, but wants more than his beggar's fare. Receiving much of what he asks, he at last receives the daughter of the house into his cloak. He then reveals that he is a nobleman; (perhaps he marries the girl)." Here is Bruce Olson's commentary on "The Juggler": "A sequel to this ballad I've seen only in 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', VII, #1401, 'The Juggler' (Gaberlunzie from ghibarlain). In the sequel, the young woman decides to go with him, but four-and-twenty jugglers (ghiberlain = beggar/ gaberlunzie) lead her back to the house. But by the time she gets back to the stable there's just a piece of pea-straw tied to the wa'," - BS
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