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1 Unhappy Love
LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF KNIGHT
(Child, No. 4)
Michigan A, except that it has an introductory stanza and that the elf knight has degenerated into a false knight, is very similar, as are many other versions, to Child F, which is reprinted from The Roxburghe Ballads, III, 449, dated by Ebsworth, the editor, about 1765. Michigan B is most like stanza 6 of Child E; Michigan C, like Child C and D Davis, pp. 62-85, gives many references and twenty-eight variants under sixteen titles collected in Virginia For further discussion, versions, and references see Marms Barbeau and Edward Sapir, Folk. Songs of Ftench Canada (New Haven, 1925), pp 22-29, Barbour, JAFL, XLIX, 213-214, Barry, Eckstorm, and Smyth, pp 14-34, Cox, pp 3-17, Eddy, No. 1; Fauset, p 109, Flanders and Brown, pp. 190-192; Greenleaf and Mansfield, pp. 3-6, Mackenzie, pp. 3-8, Sandburg, pp. 60-61; Scarborough, pp. 126-128; and Sharp, I, 5-13.
Version A was obtained in 1912 from Miss Frances Payette, a student in Michigan State Normal College, Ypsilanti. She learned the song from her mother; Mrs. Payette had heard it sung before 1862 by an English uncle, Mr. John Knowles, who lived near Bay City, Michigan. Reprinted from Gardner, JAFL, XXVII, 90-91.
1 There lived a false knight in London did dwell, Who courted a lady fair;
And all that he wanted of this pretty maid Was to take her life away.
2 "Go get part of your father's gold And part of your mother's fee,
And we will go to some strange country, Where married we shall be."
3 She went and got part of her father's gold And part of her mother's fee;
O she went, O she went to her father's stable-door, Where the horses stood fifty by three.
4 She mounted a milk-white steed, And he on an iron gray;