Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)

DESCRIPTION: "I once did have a dear companion (or: "love with fond affection"); Indeed I thought his love my own Until a dark eyed girl betrayed me And now he cares no more for me." The girl, looking at her baby, recalls her unfaithful love and regrets her shame
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Greig/Duncan6)
KEYWORDS: love infidelity pregnancy lyric floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,SE,So) Britain(Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #169, pp. 1-2, "Go and Leave Me" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan6 1145, "Go and Leave Me If You Wish It" (6 texts, 2 tunes)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 209-210, "Fond Affection" (1 text)
Randolph 755, "The Broken Heart" (7 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more, 2 tunes, though some, especially the fragments, may not go here; the "A" text contains material from "I Loved You Better Than You Knew" and several others, notably "H," are or are mixed with "The Broken Engagement (II -- We Have Met and We Have Parted)"' "F" is "Thou Hast Learned to Love Another")
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 493-495, "The Broken Heart" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 755A)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 111, "The Dear Companion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 43, "The Dear Companion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 10, "Dear Companion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 181-182, "Go And Leave Me If You Wish To" (1 text)
Graham-Joe-Holmes-SongsMusicTraditionsOfAnUlsterman 58, "Once I Loved" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 153, "Fond Affection" (13 text, including several much longer than the usual versions; the "M" text in particular seems conflate; the first four verses may be a separate song beginning "Darling, do you know who loves you?")
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 153, "Fond Affection" (5 excerpts, 5 tunes)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 142-143, "Fond Affection" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 90-91, "Fond Affection" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 50-51, "Fond Affection" (1 text, 1 tune, linked with "Little Darling Pal of Mine" and "Columbus Stockade Blues")
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, p. 166, "(Dear Companion") (1 text, tune referenced)
Spaeth-WeepSomeMoreMyLady, pp. 32-33, "Now Go and Leave Me If You Wish" (1 text)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 59, "Blue-Eyed Lover" (1 text, 1 tune, an incredibly composite version I file here for lack of any better idea; it has lyrics from many songs of this type and even "The Widow in the Cottage by the Sea")
Peacock, p. 453, "Go and Leave Me If You Wish, Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, p. 323, "Fond Affection" (1 short text, with this title and some lyrics which belong here but with other elements reminiscent of "Carrickfergus")
Shay-BarroomBallads/PiousFriendsDrunkenCompanions, p. 173, "Once I Loved a Railroad Brakeman" (1 text, with the lyrics of "Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)" although I suspect the tune and chorus floated in from "Columbus Stockade Blues")
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 164, "Dear Companion" (1 text)
SongsOfAllTime, p. 51, "The Dear Companion" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), p. 93 "The Betrayed Girl" (1 text)

Roud #411 and 459
[Clarence] Ashley & [Gwen] Foster, "Let Him Go, God Bless Him" (Vocalion 02666, 1934; rec. 1933]
Dock Boggs, "I Hope I Live a Few More Days" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1 -- an incredibly complex composite of lost love/abandonment songs, jumbled together and confused, but seemingly with more lines from this song than any other)
Carter Family, "Fond Affection" (Victor 23585, 1931; Montgomery Ward M-4744/Bluebird B-6176, 1935)
Daisy Chapman, "Go and Leave Me" (on SCDChapman01)
Walter Coon, "Fond Affection" (Superior 2521, 1930)
Debra Cowan, "Dear Companion" (on HCargillFamily)
Crowder Brothers, "Leave Me Darling, I Don't Mind" (Melotone 7-04-70, 1937)
Clarence Green, "Fond Affection" (Columbia 15311-D, 1928)
Texas Gladden, "Once I Knew a Pretty Fair Miss" (on USTGladden01 -- a fragment too short to classify but with a feeling similar to this piece)
Sid Harkreader, "Many Days With You I Wandered" (Vocalion 15100, 1925)
Kelly Harrell, "Bye and Bye You Will Forget Me" (Victor 20535, 1926; on KHarrell02 -- clearly this song, though it borrows lyrics from "Bye and Bye You Will Forget Me")
Mainer's Mountaineers "Let Her Go God Bless Her" (Bluebird [Canada] B-6104, 1935)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner, "Go and Leave Me If You Wish" (Brunswick 293, 1929; rec. 1928)
David Miller, "Many Times With You I've Wandered" (Champion 15429, 1928)
Mrs Way, "Go and Leave Me If You Wish, Love" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]

cf. "Wayfaring Stranger" (approximate tune) and references there
cf. "The Bonny Boy (I)" (lyrics)
cf. "Columbus Stockade Blues" (lyrics)
cf. "Sweet Heaven (II)" (lyrics)
cf. "Saint James Infirmary" (the "let her go" lyrics)
cf. "Good Night, Bye-Bye, Forever" (theme, some lyrics)
Once I Loved with Fond Affection
If It's In Your Heart
I Once Did Love Your Fond Affection
Fond of Affection
Raven Dark Hair
Fond Devotion
Future Days
NOTES [144 words]: This piece would appear to break up into two subfamilies, "Dear Companion" ("I once did have a dear companion") and "A Fond Affection." I tried to separate the two -- but when I saw the incredible mixture in Randolph, I gave up. - RBW
It's also getting harder to distinguish "Columbus Stockade Blues" from this song. We use the "Columbus Stockade" line as a marker, but several versions of "Dear Companion" overlap heavily with that song in lyrics. - PJS
So true. Peacock's version, e.g., is "Columbus Stockade Blues" minus the first verse, though the tune is different.
Jean Ritchie, incidentally, rewrote this as "My Dear Companion," beginning "Oh have you seen my dear companion, For he was all the world to me." Her version can be found on pates 62-63 of Sing Out!, Volume 41, #3 (1996/1997). Apparently it has become mildly popular in country circles. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: R755

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