Pretty Little Miss [Laws P18]

DESCRIPTION: The singer courts a young girl, eventually talking his way into her bed. In the middle of the night he prepares to leave. She reminds him of his promise to marry her. He tells her that sleeping with him was her choice. She bewails her fate, or is murdered
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1827 (Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2) +1818 (Garret, _Right Choyse and Merrie Book of Garlands I_)
KEYWORDS: seduction separation betrayal pregnancy homicide
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So) Britain(England(Lond,North),Scotland(Bord))
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Laws P18, "Pretty Little Miss"
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 88, "Fair Flora" (1 text)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 67, "Too Young" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardham-EastRidingSongster 27, pp. 35, 52-53, "The Lily-White Hand" (2 texts plus 2 fragments, 1 tune; the primary text is one of the rare versions which ends with a the man murdering rather than deserting the girl)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 107, "Good Morning, My Pretty Little Miss" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 49, "Good-Morning My Pretty Little Miss" (1 text, 1 tune -- an abridged composite version)
Hamer-GarnersGay, pp. 38-39, "The Lily-White Hand" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 57-58, "A Gentleman's Meeting (Down by Yon Riverside" (1 text, which starts out as "Pretty Little Miss" [Laws P18] but ends with 'The Foggy Dew (The Bugaboo)" [Laws O3]; Roud lists it as a version of Laws P18, but it appears that the larger part of the text is O3 -- though the material in the middle could be from either)
Forget-Me-Not-Songster, pp. 242-243, "The Distressed Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #564
cf. "Rosemary Lane" [Laws K43] (floating lyrics)
cf. "Seven Years O'er Young" (plot)
NOTES [99 words]: I place [the MacColl/Seeger song "Too Young"] with "Pretty Little Miss" (Laws P18) because MacColl & Seeger do, explicitly citing Laws. But it has few of the plot elements of the canonical Laws version, and tacks on a couple of stanzas that I'd swear came from "Blackwaterside." - PJS
Laws himself says the song has "much textual instability," even though he quotes only four versions -- two from Sharp and two fragments from JFSS. And his sample stanzas do look a bit like "Blackwaterside."
For additional notes on the problems with this piece, see the notes to "Seven Years O'er Young." - RBW
Last updated in version 6.0
File: LP18

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