Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Lord Randal
(Child, No. 12)
Cox in his head-note to No. 4 states that twelve variants have been recovered in West Virginia under the titles of "Lord Randal", "Johnny Randolph", "Johnny Randal", "Johnny Ramsay", and "Johnny Reeler". Davis (No. 6) says that the ballad "masquerades in Virginia as 'John Willow, My Son', 'Johnnie Randolph, My Son', 'Johnny Rillus' (or 'Rilla' or 'Rolus' or 'Riller' or 'Reynolds'), 'Ransel, My Son', 'McDonald', 'John ELzie', 'Billy Randall, or a Rope and a Gallows', 'Where Have You Been to, My Dear Son', seldom as 'Lord Randal'." See also Barry, No. 10; Barry-Eck-storm-Smyth, pp. 4672; Brown, p. 9; Flanders and Brown, p. 197; Campbell and Sharp, No. 6; Hudson, No. 4; McGill, p. 19; Pound, Syllabus, p. 9; Pound, Ballads, No. 1; New Jersey Journal ojEducation, December, 1927 (the same text); Shearin, p. 4; Shearin and Combs, p. 7; Shoemaker, 123 (in Shoemaker's second edition, 1923, the page is 139); Reed Smith, No. 2; Reed Smith, Ballads, No. 2; Journal, XIII, 115 (Newell); XVI, 258 (Barry); XVIII, 195 (Barry), 303 (Barry); XXII, 77 (Barry), 376 (Barry); XXIV, 345 (Barry); XXIX, 157 (Tolman); XXX, 289(Kittredge); XXXV, 339 (Tolman and Eddy); XXXIX, 81 (Whiting); XLII, 257 (Henry, the same text); XLIV, 302; Barry, Bulletin oj the Folk-Song Society of the Northeast, No. 1, p. 4.
Sung by Miss Mary Riddle, Black Mountain, Buncombe County, North Carolina. She had it from her father who learned it in Madison County, North Carolina. This ballad came as a surprise to the editor because on a former visit to the home of Miss Riddle this young lady insisted that she had "sung all I know," but a later visit (1926) brought as reward the following text of "Lord Randal."
1. "Oh, where have you been, Lord Randal, my son? Oh, where have you been, my handsome young man ?"
"I have been to the greenwood. Mother, make my bed soon, For I'm wearied with hunting and fain would lie down."
2. "And who met you there, Lord Randal, my son ? And who met you there, my handsome young man ?" "Oh, I met with my true love. Mother, make by bed soon, For I'm wearied with hunting and fain would lie down."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III