Non-Standard conjoined subject noun phrases

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Thu Feb 25 20:30:12 UTC 2010

> So you have variant descendant forms of a single ballad, or phrases from
> one
> ballad being picked up in another one.

Not quite, Mark.  This, especially picking up of individual phrases, would
to a degree apply broadcast across all the 20-30 (semi)distinct ballad texts
dealing with poachers.  At the point where I looked at what I'd have to do
to disentangle all thirty texts, I took a deep breath and decided to
concentrate on what most directly concerned me.  So the four colloquial
poaching texts I picked out to put beside my initial cant text were all, in
my opinion, however related, finally "distinct".  [Also, there are more than
several examplars of each of the four, so if you add up the number of actual
printed texts, even of just these four, *with variants* ... I stopped
counting.]  Certainly *not the case of a one-from-the-other derivation as
occurs with, say, the Jack Hall to Sam Hall texts, or even the songs in The
Rake's Lament to the Streets of Laredo line.

> This is very common in folk song. If
> I had time now I would check at the Mudcat Cafe <>.

The problem with Mudcat, and DigiTrad (and most of the other folk song
sites) is that the texts are usually taken from all over the shop, not
always properly sourced, and occasionally totally barmy.  Also frequently in
the areas I'm most interested in, incomplete -- heavy on folk-derived texts,
light on broadsides.  (You'll find there, naturally enough, the text of "The
Night Before Larry Was Stretched," but not the original 1780 Dublin version
before it was processed through the bowels of Frazer's Magazine by Father
Prouty, which is where one of the two "anglicised" texts of Larry stems
from.  And once that's out, goodbye to the difficult to undestand original.
It's quite rapidly forgotten by virtually everyone, replaced by the
predigested English version.)  Same caveats apply to the discussion threads.
Not that they're not sometimes really useful, but to be treated with

So for various reasons, I was looking narrowly at the range of texts found
in the collection in the Bodleian.  I did look around a bit beyond that, but
mostly only enough to be sure I wasn't missing something huge, and to
confirm my idea that while there might be lots of variant readings,
transformations, etc., Bodleian made a reasonable test-bed.  If I were going
further in this area, I'd go into the Madden collection rather than the folk
stuff, but that, alas, isn't available on line, or even easily found in the
microfilms made from the originals in, I think, Cambridge.

> ------------------------------
> The Forum Results No Results in the Forum

Ain't that always the case?  <g>

More useful than Mudcat are a series of articles on broadside ballads,
especially this one specifically on poaching ballads:  --  Glimpses into
the 19th Century Broadside Ballad Trade:  No.17: Rutterford the Poacher


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