Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

A Collection Of Traditional & Folk Songs of the area with Lyrics & Commentaries -online book

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The Prentice Boy's Love
for Mary
Sung by J. F. Shedd, Mattawamkeag, Maine, and written down by the editor, 1916. This is the well-known ballad of "The Sheffield Apprentice," common in broadsides and still orally circulated in England and Scotland as well as in this country. See W. C. Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides, No. 3307; Perrow, Journal of American Folk-lore, XXVIII, 164 (cf. XXXII, 499); Shearin and Coombs, Syllabus of Kentucky Folk-Songs, p. 11; Shearin, The Sewanee Review, July, 1911; Campbell and Sharp, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, pp. 278-280; The Forget Me Not Songster, p. 244; Elton s Songs and Melodies for the Multitude, pp. 318-319; broadside, H. de Marsan, New York, List 9, No. 91.
A ballad, called "Sheffield," sung in the Cumberland moun­tains, tells the same story as ours but differs in details: the rich lady comes from Ireland instead of Holland, and the Pren­tice has plighted his troth to Polly Girl instead of to Mary. The lines are shorter and the wording differs considerably, but the plot is identical.
1      I was brought up in Sheffield,
Not of a high degree; •My parents they adored on me, They had no other child but me.
2     I roamed with much pleasure
Where e'er my fancy led, Till I was bound a prentice boy; Then all my hopes were fled.

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