Author Topic: Add: 3 versions of 'The Elfin Knight' (Child 2)


Posted - 31 Aug 02 - 08:06 pm

I've added 3 versions of 'The Elfin Knight' to the database.

An Acre of Land

The Lovers' Tasks

Scarborough Fair

Wasn't sure whether to start a new thread for each or not.

Any thoughts?


Jon Freeman

Posted - 01 Sep 02 - 01:44 am

I may delete or transefer this post later but; while I admit ignorance, I would suggest that 1 thread for a known group of songs is likley to prove most useful.


Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 01 Sep 02 - 03:14 am

Roud 12.

I'll be back to quarrel about some of the details later.


Posted - 06 Sep 02 - 12:35 pm

Just been looking at the entry for The Elfin Knight at the Traditional Ballad Index, where it states:

The song "My Father Had an Acre of Land" is sometimes listed as a variant of this, but falsely. The basic point of Child #2 is the dialog making impossible demands; in "My Father Had an Acre of Land," the song simply boasts of impossible deeds

Any views?


Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 06 Sep 02 - 02:32 pm

That's Robert Waltz expressing a view held by one school of thought. Another would have it that the song is derived from the older ballad. I should mention both as possibilities.


Posted - 04 Jun 05 - 03:11 pm

I have added a version from the 'Singing Together' series

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 04 Jun 05 - 06:47 pm

That version came from Mark Anderson, a retired lead-miner, at Middleton-in-Teasdale, Yorkshire, 1947. It appears in Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, The Singing Island, London: Mills Music, 1960, 26. It has been shortened by three verses for the Singing Together pamphlet.

Martin Carthy's recording derives from the same source; he used Mr Anderson's tune; and, largely, his text (the final verse is omitted), though with modifications of the sort that often arise in the course of singing. I don't know where that bunch of heather came from; it's almost always a feather, generally from a peacock.


Posted - 05 Jun 05 - 10:30 am

Sorry, Malcolm (and everyone else): It hadn't 'been shortened by three verses for the Singing Together pamphlet' - it had been shortened by three verses because I forgot to turn the page! I have put the missing verses on now.

Edited By dmcg - 05-Jun-2005 10:44:09 AM

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