The song has been performed and recorded by countless artists. In fact it was somehow courageous to designate the song as an "American Favorite Ballad" because it was barely known there at that time.
In the liner notes to the LP he didn't tell his listeners where he had learned this piece. But it was included two years later in a songbook called American Favorite Ballads. And on page 4 we can read that it was "printed by permission". But that was not correct.
In the Notes on the Songs p. Cox, of High Ham" is mentioned as the source for both the words and the tune. Sharp also remarked that he had "noted this song in Somerset five times - tunes and words varying considerably" but that "our Somerset words have so much affinity with the well-known Scottish ballad 'Waly, Waly' that we are publishing them under the same title".
These notes are somewhat misleading. They seem to suggest that Sharp had collected the song in exactly this form. But in fact he had created it anew by collating bits and pieces from different field-recordings. What he regarded as "Folk"-versions of that old Scottish ballad were in fact mutilated fragments of two different broadside-songs. Already in J. He even identified one of the two broadside ballads in question. The following text is an attempt at outlining the history and prehistory of "The Water Is Wide".
Allen has laid the groundwork for any further examination of this problem Popular Annotated Bibliography Writers For Hire For Masters his article but I try to discuss it in a broader context. A couple of questions come to mind: What was their notion of authenticity?
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How did the anonymous writers of broadside ballads produce their texts? What did broadside writers and folklorists have in common? Why were so-called "floating verses" so important for the production of both broadside ballads and "Folk songs"? A version with a tune and four verses - including variant forms of two we know from the modern "The Popular Annotated Bibliography Writers For Hire For Masters Is Wide" - can be found in William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius, or a Collection of the best Scotch Songs.
There he obviously had great success and was "favoured at court on account of his Scots songs" Farmerp. His Orpheus Caledonius - the very first collection of Scottish songs - was dedicated to the Princess of Wales. Another version - this time only a text without a tune - was included by Allan Ramsay in the second volume of his immensely influential Tea-Table Miscellany.
The exact publication date is not clear. In the catalogue of the National Library of Scotland the second is dated as from see Copac ; see also Martinp. If this is correct it would mean that it was published after Thomson's collection.
In fact Ramsay's version is bit different from Thomson's. The verse with the "cockle shells" is missing. Instead we get seven additional quatrains here pp. In William Thomson published a second expanded edition of his Orpheus Caledonius. Here he not only simplified the bass of his first version of this song but he also changed he title to "Waly, Waly" and added six of the additional verses from Ramsay's text on two extra pages No.
Ramsay has marked "Oh, Waly, Waly" with a "Z" as an "old song", but we don't know how old it was when he published it. Nor do we know if and how much Ramsay and Thomson have edited their texts. But at least one verse was already known a hundred years earlier. Of course this doesn't mean that "Oh Waly, Waly" already existed at that time. It is far more likely that the anonymous creator of this song simply borrowed an older verse.
Interestingly five of the seven additional stanzas from Ramsay's text can also be found in other songs. The exact relationship between the two songs is not clear. Was it the other way round? But this would mean that "Oh Waly,Waly" was not that old because it then must have been written after "Arthur's Seat".
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Of course it is also possible that the writers of both pieces have borrowed these verses from another undocumented older song. Not at least it cannot be excluded that they were only later - sometime source and - added to the Scottish ballad.
But I assume it can't have been Ramsay himself. In this case he would have marked "Oh Waly,Waly" not with a "Z" as an old song but with a "Q, old songs with additions". This ballad was first printed in a fragmentary version in in in the second edition of David Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs Vol.
Lord Douglas and Lady Erskine were divorced in so the ballad of course must have been written after that date. It seems that "Oh Waly, Waly" was immensely popular during the 18th and 19th century.
Worsdale's new lyrics are worth quoting: The tune can also be found in the collections of Popular Annotated Bibliography Writers For Hire For Masters major Scottish composers of that time see Olson, Incomplete Index. Click just like Popular Annotated Bibliography Writers For Hire For Masters Gay they both didn't use the version from Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius but instead one that suited Ramsay's 8-line double-stanzas: Allan Ramsay's text remained available throughout the 18th century, not only because the Tea-table Miscellany were reprinted regularly: But the text of "Oh Waly, Waly" also found a place in the most important antiquarian collections of that time: Towards the end of the century the song was published in all major collections of Scottish songs.
At this time "Oh Waly, Waly" was established as an "old Scottish ballad". It remained in print during the next century and was still regularly performed and published. We again can find the song in different surroundings. And of course it found a place in scholarly publications like The Garland of Scotia.
Graham's The Songs of ScotlandVol. Graham noted that the "air is beautiful and pathetic" but complained about the quality of earlier arrangements: The song was also well known in North America. The tune is completely different and for some reason the verse with the "cockle shells" has returned: Allan Ramsay's version of "Oh Waly, Waly" had a long and honorable history and it is still performed today.
Their song included variants of two verses known from the old Scottish ballad but otherwise the rest of the text and the tune were completely different. The Folk Songs From Somerset were no academic collection. Sharp wanted to revitalize these songs that he saw as "our national heritage, or some salvage of it" Introduction, p.
Interestingly there was no copyright notice in the Folk Songs From Somerset. One was by Mrs. Caroline CoxKarpeles 35A, p. The second one was from James ThomasKarpeles 35B, p.
Sharp used two of his four verses for the extended text published in A fragment supplied by Mrs. Elizabeth MoggKarpeles, No. This is clearly a relic of a different song although Sharp apparently also regarded it as related to the old Scottish "Oh Waly, Waly" because it included a variant form of one of its stanzas: Two years later Mrs.
Mogg sang another version with two different verses Karpeles, p. Cox used five of the original nine verses - the first, then the seventh, the sixth, the fifth and the last - while Mr. Thomas only recalled four of them: This seems to be the earliest of the available extant texts. This song-sheet has no imprint but in the English Short Title Catalogue "? It was somehow courageous to publish this piece as a "new song". In fact it was mostly a compilation of verses from earlier broadsides: Amazingly the anonymous author also resorted to songs that also share verses with Allan Ramsay's version of "Oh Waly, Waly" although he used not the same but others.
Apparently the relationship between these texts was well known at that time. In the original text the rhymes worked much better: I have seven ships upon the sea, and all are laden to the brim; I am so inflam'd with love to thee, I care not whether I sink or swim. Love in Despair" ca. The Word On The Streetalthough it looked a little different there: S hould I be bound that may go free? I'le rather travel into Spain, where I'le get here for love again.
The compiler of this "new song" was surely well acquainted with old popular songs but his read article as a poet left something to be desired.
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The rhyme scheme is inconsistent. Unfortunately we don't know anything else about this song. Was it written by a more or less professional broadside poet for the printer who then threw this piece on the market in hope that the people would pick it up and? Or was it a transcription of a popular song written and performed by a professional musician?