Death and the Lady

DESCRIPTION: Young woman meets Death; offers him rich gifts if he will grant her more time in this world. (In some versions, she wishes to mend her ways after a life of wickedness.) He refuses. She dies.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1736 ("A Guide to Heaven")
KEYWORDS: death bargaining dialog
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Bord)) US(SE)
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Sharp-100E 22, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
KarpelesCrystal 129, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 30, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Circle 28, "Death and the Lady" (1 text)
Williams-Thames, p. 173, "Death and the Maid" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 351)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 554, "Death and the Lady" (1 text)
Purslow-Constant, p. 20, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
BroadwoodCarols, pp. 40-41, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell/Wooldridge II, pp. 170-171, "Death and the Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dixon-Peasantry, Poem #6, pp. 24-28, "The Messenger of Mortality" (1 text)
Bell-Combined, pp. 252-255, "The Messenger of Mortality, or Life and Death Contrasted in a Dialogue betwixt Death and a Lady" (1 tet)
BBI, ZN843, "Fair lady leave your costly Robes aside"; ZN1415, "In Cambridge lives a maiden fair/" (composite text also containing part of "Weaver to My Trade")
ADDITIONAL: Leslie Shepard, _John Pitts, Ballad Printer of Seven Dials, London 1765-1844_, Private Library Association, 1969, p. 107, "Death and the Lady; Or, The Great Messenger of Mortality" (reprint of an Evans broadside)

Roud #1031
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(52), "Death and the Lady," unknown, c. 1890
cf. "Conversation with Death (Oh Death)" (theme)
Oh Death
My Name is Death
NOTES [66 words]: Also see Ralph Stanley, "O Death" (on soundtrack for "O Brother, Where Art Thou," Mercury (Lost Highway) 088 170-069-2 (2000))
For more information on the Ralph Stanley version -- apparently first recorded by Dock Boggs -- and other U.S. recordings see Gary B Reid's booklet accompanying the 4-CD album, "The Stanley Brothers: The King Years 1961-1965", King Records KG-0950-2 (2003), p. 17. - BS
Last updated in version 5.0
File: ShH22

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