Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

A collection of 100 traditional folk songs with commentaries, historical info, lyrics & sheet music

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1
THE ELFIN KNIGHT
(Child, No. 2)
Five variants, all more or less fragmentary, of this ballad have been recovered in Indiana. They correspond most closely to Sargent and Kitt-redge A, although, as is usually the case in ballads of this type, all traces of the wooer's supernatural character have disappeared.
For American texts, see Barry, Eckstorm, and Smyth, p. 3 (four var­iants and two airs) ; Gray, p. 78 (one variant) ; Journal, VII, 228; XVIII, 49, 212; XIX, 130; XXIII, 430; XXVI, 174; XXX, 283; PTFLS, X, 137; Henry, Folk-Songs from the Southern Highlands, p. 31 (fragment).
English texts are to be found in Sharp, Folk-Songs of England, III, 21; Greig, Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs, 1-2 (two airs); Baring-Gould, A Book of Nursery Songs and RhyTnes, p. 3; Broad-wood and Maitland, English County Songs, p. 12 (with air); Journal of the Folk-Song Society, I, 83; II, 212; III, 274.
The ballad seems to be known locally as "The Two Lovers" or "I Want You to Make Me a Cambric Shirt."
A
"The Two Lovers." Contributed by Mrs. Bora Ward, of Princeton, Indiana. Gibson County. January 14, 1936.
1.    "I want her to make me a cambric shirt,
Rivers and seas are merry in time, With very fine needle and very coarse work, Then she shall be true lover of mine.
2.    "Go tell her to wash it in yonder spring,
Rivers and seas are merry in time, No water there and never has been, Then she shall be true lover of mine."
3.    "Go tell him to plant an acre of land,
Rivers and seas are merry in time,
Between the salt sea and the dry sand,
Then he shall be true lover of mine.
4.   "Go tell him to plow it with one hog's horn,
Rivers and seas are merry in time, Plant it all over with one grain of corn, Then he shall be true lover of mine.
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