The Child ballad in America

Read Stanley Hyman’s article “The Child Ballad in America.” What is Hyman’s argument regarding the nature of change in ballad text between the “Old” and “New” World Versions? The House Carpenter Ballad was also known in Scotland as The Daemon Lover (text of one of the Scottish versions is included below). After comparing the text of American versions and that of the Scottish Version, do you agree with Hyman’s claims about ballad change in the US? Use evidence from the song to support your perspective. I attached the article as a pdf: The Daemon Lover lyrics: The Daemon Lover O where have you been, my long, long love, This long seven years and mair?’ ‘O I’m come to seek my former vows Ye granted me before.’ ‘O hold your tongue of your former vows, For they will breed sad strife; O hold your tongue of your former vows, For I am become a wife.’ He turned him right and round about, And the tear blinded his ee: ‘I wad never hae trodden on Irish ground, If it had not been for thee. ‘I might hae had a king’s daughter, Far, far beyond the sea; I might have had a king’s daughter, Had it not been for love o thee.’ ‘If ye might have had a king’s daughter, Yer sel ye had to blame; Ye might have taken the king’s daughter, For ye kend that I was nane. ‘If I was to leave my husband dear, Ans my two babes also, O what have you to take me to, If with you I should go?’ ‘I hae seven ships upon the sea- The eighth brought me to land- With four-and-twenty bold mariners, And music on every hand.’ She has taken up her two little babes, Kissed them baith cheeks and chin: ‘O fair ye weel, my ain two babes, For I’ll never see you again.’ She set her foot upon the ship, No mariners could she behold; But the sails were o the taffetie, And the masts o the beaten gold. She had not sailed a league, a league, A league but barely three, When dismal drew his countenance, And drumlie grew his ee. They had not sailed a league, a league A league but barely three, Until she espied his cloven foot, And she wept right bitterly. ‘O hold your tongue of your weeping,’ says he, ‘Of your weeping now let me be; I will show you how the lilies grow On the banks of Italy.’ ‘O what hills are yon, yon pleasant hills, That the sun shines sweetly on?’ ‘O yon are the hills of heaven,’ he said, ‘Where you will never win.’ ‘O whiten a mountain is yon,’ she said, ‘All so dreary wi frost and snow?’ ‘O yon is the mountain of hell,’ he cries, ‘Where you and I will go. He struck up the tap-mast wi his hand, The foremast wi his knee, And he brakes that gallant ship in twain, And sank her in the sea.

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