Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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(Child, No. 45)
Save for a difference in refrains the Michigan fragment is identical with Child B. Child B was taken from a broadside printed for P. Brooksby, who published from 1672 to 1695, and was "allowed" by Roger l'Estrange, who was licenser from 1663 to 1685 This ballad is one of the riddle! stories in which a forfeit is to be paid by the vanquished party (cf. Child, Nos 1 and 2,1, 1-20). The fragment given here was sung in 1937 by Mr. Henry R. Vaughan, De­troit, who remembered the story of die song as sung by his mother in Vermont, but could recall only a few lines.
I'll tell you a story, a story anon,
Of a noble prince, and his name was King John;
For he was a prince and a prince of great might,
He held up great wrongs, and he put down great right,
To me down, down, diddy-i-down.

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