Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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THE FARMER'S OLD WIFE.               257
THE FAEMER'S OLD WIFE.
The Carl of Kellyburn Braes, composed by Burns for Johnson's Museum, (p. 392,) was founded, he says, " on the old traditionary verses." These we have met with in no other form but the following, which is taken from Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, edited by Robert Bell, p. 204. What is styled the original of The Carle of Kellyburn Braes, in Cromek's Remains of Nilhsdale and Galloway Song, p. 83, is, like many of the pieces in that volume, for the most part a fabrica­tion. The place of the burden is supplied in Sussex, says Mr. Bell, by a whistling chorus.
Of the same tenor is the ballad of The Devil and the Scold, Collier's Roxburghe Ballads, p. 35.
We subjoin the first stanza of Burns's ballad for the sake of the burden, which is said to be old.
There lived a carl on Kellyburn braes,
Set/, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme, And he had a wife was the plague o' his days,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and the rue is in prime.
There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell, And he had a bad wife, as many knew well.
Then Satan came to the old man at the plough,— " One of your family I must have now. vol. Tin.                  17







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