A a is wrongly said by Stenhouse, The Scots
Musical Museum, IV, 213, to have appeared in Ramsay's Miscellany
in 1724. It is not even in the edition of 1733, but, according to
Mr. Chappell, was first inserted in that of 1740. Ramsay's copy
is repeated in Herd, 1769, p. 29, 1776, I, 19, Johnson's Museum,
p. 230, No 221, and Ritson's Scotish Song, II, 196. C was
perhaps derived from Ramsay, but possibly may have come down by
purely oral tradition. Some later copies of B have Reading
Town for Scarlet Town (Chappell).
The Scottish ballad is extended in Buchan's Manuscripts, I,
90, Motherwell's Manuscript, p. 671, to forty-one stanzas. In
this amplified copy, which has no claim to be admitted here, the
dying lover leaves his watch and gold ring, his Bible and
penknife, a mill and thirty ploughs, nine meal-mills and the
freights of nine ships, all to tocher Barbara Allan. This is the
ballad referred to by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe in Stenhouse's
edition of the Museum, IV, 300*, as sung by the peasantry of
Allandale. Doubtless it was learned by them from some
Pepys makes this entry in his Diary, January 2, 1666: "In
perfect pleasure I was to hear her [Mrs. Knipp, an actress] sing,
and especially her little Scotch song of Barbary Allen."
Goldsmith, in his third essay, 1765, p. 14, writes: The music of
the finest singer is dissonance to what I felt when an old dairy
maid sung me into tears with 'Johnny Armstrong's Last
Good-night,' or 'The Cruelty of Barbara Allen.'[foot-note]
A b is translated by Loeve-Veimars, p. 379, von
Marges, p. 34; B d by Bodmer, I, 85.
This page most recently updated on 05-Mar-2011, 17:22:57.
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