Rich Irish Lady, A (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.) [Laws P9]

DESCRIPTION: Sally at first scorns a suitor, then changes her mind and calls for him. She admits that she is dying for love of him. He informs her that he intends to dance on her grave. She takes three rings from her fingers for him to wear while dancing, then dies
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1808 (journal by Hannah Lowell of Plum Island, Massachusetts)
KEYWORDS: courting dying funeral revenge sailor
FOUND IN: US(Ap,NE,MW,Ro,SE,So) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (42 citations):
Laws P9, "A Rich Irish Lady (The Fair Damsel from London; Sally and Billy; The Sailor from Dover; Pretty Sally; etc.)"
Bronson 295, "The Brown Girl" (49 versions, but very many of these, #1, #3, #8, #13, #16, #17, (#19), #24, #25, #35, #36, #41, #44 are listed by Laws as "A Rich Irish Lady," as is #8 though it mixes with "The Death of Queen Jane"; #2, #5, #10, #15, #20, #21, #29, #32a/b, #34, #37, #38(a), #45, #47, #49 are apparently LP9 as well; #4, #6, #7, #11, #31, #38b, #39, #42 are fragments which appear more likely to be LP9; #14, #22, #23, #27 are fragments identified by Laws with LP9 though this cannot be proved; #9 (from Baring-Gould) is definitely the Child version, and #33, #48 probably; #18 is a fragment that might be part of "Glenlogie"; #26, #28 have no text; #30, #40, #43 might be either)
BronsonSinging 295, "The Brown Girl" (5 versions: #1, #20, #26, #41, #47, of which #41 and #47 are clearly this and some of the others might be)
Greig #79, p. 1, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text)
GreigDuncan6 1219, "The Sailor from Dover," GreigDuncan8 Addenda, "Waly, Waly, Gin Love Be Bonny" (11 texts, 6 tunes)
SharpAp 44, "The Brown Girl" (7 texts plus 4 fragments, 11 tunes, though the "D" fragment at least could be from "Glenlogie"; although listed as Child 295, every full text appears to be Laws P9; some of the fragments might be either) {Bronson's #17, #16, #14, #18, #42, [F not in Bronson], #36, #35, #41, #46, #22}
Burton/Manning1, pp. 34-35, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 418-425, "Sally and Her True Love" (2 text plus 2 broadside versions, 3 tunes; the "A" text has an artificial happy ending carelessly grafted on) {Bronson's #1, #1, #19}
Belden, pp. 111-118, "A Brave Irish Lady" (5 rexts, 2 tunes; it appears that Laws does not consider one of these versions, probably version E, to be this song, but it certainly belongs to the same family)
Randolph 40, "Pretty Sally of London" (5 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes; it is possible that the fragment is Child #295) {A=Bronson's #44, B=#24, F=#15}
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 104-107, "Pretty Sally of London" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 40F) {Bronson's #15}
BrownII 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 texts)
BrownSchinhanIV 90, "A Brave Irish Lady" (3 excerpts, 3 tunes)
Morris, #177, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, titled "Pretty Sally," listed as Child #295 but properly this piece)
Hudson 27, pp. 128-130, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, listed as Child #295 but clearly this piece)
HudsonTunes 8, "The Rich Lady from London (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
Davis-Ballads 50, "The Brown Girl" (8 texts plus 2 fragments, all versions of this rather than Child #295; 3 tunes, all entitled "The Brown Girl"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #42, #31, #23}
Moore-Southwest 59, "The Rich Lady From Dublin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 37-38, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #45}
Owens-2ed, pp. 40-41, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, p. 98, "There Was a Young Lady" (1 fragment; tune on p. 389) {Bronson's #38b}
Brewster 26, "The Brown Girl" (1 text)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 160-161, "The Irish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 244-2426, "The Fair Damsel from London" (1 text from the Green Mountain Songster)
Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 285-291, "The Irish Lady, or Sally from London" (2 texts, one of them being from the Green Mountain Songster; 1 tune, lacking lyrics but said to be this piece)
Gardner/Chickering 52, "Fair Lady of London" (1 text)
Niles 64, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune, listed as Child 295)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 29, "Fair Sally (The Brown Girl)" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version) {Bronson's #1}
Karpeles-Newfoundland 24, "Pretty Sally" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 114, "Pretty Sally" (4 texts plus mention of 2 more; Laws does not list the "B" text as belonging here, but it clearly does.)
Gainer, pp. 100-101, "Pretty Sarah" (1 text, 1 tune, which seems a little confused about who does the rejection but on the basis of lyrics belongs here rather than with Child 295)
Boette, pp. 42-43, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #19, "The Brown Girl" (1 short text)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 92, "The Sailor from Dover" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #10}
SHenry H72, pp. 374-375, "Am I the Doctor?" (1 text, 1 tune -- a version with the hatred toned down and with verses reminiscent of "Glenlogie")
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 111-112, "Pretty Sally" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 678-680, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, but "B" is Laws P9)
Aston-Sailor, #70, "Sally and Billy" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 135-136, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 146, "A Rich Irish Lady" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2324, "A seaman of Dover, sweet William by name"

Roud #180
Loman D. Cansler, "Sally" (on Cansler1)
Cas Wallin, "Fine Sally" (on OldLove, DarkHoll) {cf. Bronson's #14}

Bodleian, Harding B 28(284), "The Sailor from Dover" ("There was a young sailor, from Dover he came"), unknown, no date; Harding B 25(1689), "The Sailor from Sunderland"
cf. "The Brown Girl (I)" [Child 295]
cf. "Glenlogie, or, Jean o Bethelnie" [Child 238] (lyrics in some texts)
The English Lady Gay
Fine Sally
NOTES [178 words]: Considered by some to be a variant of "The Brown Girl" (Child #295). The plot is identical except that the male and female roles are reversed. Laws declares that the two should be considered separate but related ballads. This agrees with, e.g., Cohen, Cox, and Randolph, but disagrees with Pound, Sharp, Davis, Scarborough, Flanders (naturally; she's lumped more absurd things than this) and (tentatively) Hudson, as well as (implicitly) Hubbard, Bronson and Roud. - RBW
Some of the GreigDuncan6 texts and the Bodleian broadsides actually end happily by adding a last verse along these lines:
On hearing this the sailor began much to rue:
Said he, my dearest Sally, I've long admir'd you;
Then lay aside your grieving, for I will constant prove,
To-morrow we'll be married, and happy live, my love.
GreigDuncan6 deduces that Greig's text is a composite of GreigDuncan6 1219K and 1219J.
In "The Sailor from Sunderland," the sailor relents and the couple are married. - BS
I added "sailor" as a keyword because at least some versions have a sailor as a protagonist. -PJS
Last updated in version 5.1
File: LP09

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