Dainty Doonby, The

DESCRIPTION: "A lassie was milkin' her faither's kye When a gentleman on horseback he cam' riding by... He was the laird o' the Dainty Doonby." The laird seduces then abandons the girl. Months later, he comes to ask of her health. She is pregnant; he marries her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: courting seduction sex pregnancy nobility abandonment reunion marriage
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber,Bord))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Greig/Duncan7 1488, "The Dainty Downby" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice #39, pp. 182-183, "The Laird o' the Denty Dounby" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 121, "The Laird of Daintie Bye" (1 text)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 179, "The Lady o' the Dainty Doon-by" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 21, "The Laird of the Denty Doon Bye" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #864
Lizzie Higgins, "The Laird O' the Dainty Doonby" (on Voice06)
cf. "The Broom of Cowdenknows" [Child 217] (plot)
cf. "The Wylie Wife of the Hie Toun Hie" [Child 290] (plot)
cf. "The Sleepy Merchant" (plot)
cf. "The Bonnie Parks o' Kilty" (plot)
cf. "The Parks o' Keltie" (theme of a laird raping a girl then marrying her)
NOTES [127 words]: Abby Sale suggests that this is a version of "The Broom of Cowdenknows" [Child 217]. The plots are the much the same (except for the role of the parents, who in "Cowdenknows" are hostile if they show up at all, but here are sympathetic), but the overall form suggests the songs are separate. - RBW
Porter and Gower note the similarities of the Robertson family's tunes to "Johnny Cope." Also, "the protagonist's taking the girl by the 'lily-white Hand' after sexual intercourse and the girl's subsequent pregnancy, not before, is notable since it reverses the usual sequence of signals" (Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice p. 183). Especially as such "taking by the lily-white hand" so often ends up with seduction and murder. - DGE
Last updated in version 5.3
File: K179

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