#00811
Bonny Farday (John Jacob Niles) video
See also: The Bonny Banks Of Ardrie-O (Peacock)
#1529: YouTube video by raymondcrooke
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

Three fine ladies lived in a bow'ry,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
Three fine ladies lived in a bow'ry,
They went forth in a field that was flow'ry;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

They pulled flow'rs by two, by three,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
They pulled flow'rs by two, by three,
A man come, bent on a robbery;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

He asked one sister would she wife,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
He asked one sister would she wife,
Or would she die by his wee knife;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

She would not be a robber's wife,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
She would not be a robber's wife,
He robbed her of her own sweet life;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

He buried her so tenderly,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
He buried her so tenderly,
To keep the flowers company;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

He took the second by the hand,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
He took the second by the hand,
He made her lightly step and stand;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

He asked this sister would she wife,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
He asked this sister would she wife,
Or would she die by his wee knife;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

She would not wife, she would not bide,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
She would not wife, she would not bide,
So at that robber's hand she died;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

So like the first he laid her by,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
So like the first he laid her by,
To keep the flowers company;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

He took the wee one by the hand,
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
He took the wee one by the hand,
She would not step, she would not stand;
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

Said, "I'll not marry such as you,"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
Said, "I'll not marry such as you,
Who killed my sisters one and two;"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

"Among my kin my brother strong,"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
"Among my kin my brother strong,
Will kill you for this very wrong;"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

"What name, what name, what name, my fay?"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
"What name, what name, what name, my fay?"
"My brother's name is Bonny Farday;"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

"Oh Sister, dear, what can I do?"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
"Oh Sister, dear, what can I do
But kill myself in rue of you?"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

"Come dig my grave full wide and deep,"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary;
"Come dig my grave full wide and deep,
And place my sisters at my feet;"
Jewry flow'r and rosemary.

####.... Variant of Babylon or The Bonnie Banks Of Fordie [Child ballad #14] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965) ....####
This variant from the Ballad Book of John Jacob Niles, Folk Balladeer, RCA Victor Vintage.

The video above features an excellent performance of a variant by Raymond Crooke of Melbourne, Australia.

A variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from Joshua Osbourne [c.1903-?] of Seal Cove, White Bay, NL, and published as The Bonny Banks Of Ardrie-O in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.809-810, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved, and recorded by Peacock on his album Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland (Folkways FG 3505, LP, 1956).

A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach [1897-1967] and published as Babylon, or, The Bonnie Banks O' Fordie in The Ballad Book, pp.88-90 (A S Barnes, New York, 1955).

Another variant was collected by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] in 1930 from Mr and Mrs Kenneth [1877-?] Monks of King's Cove, NL, and published as #3, Bonny Banks Of The Virgie-O in Folksongs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971; Oxford, 1934).

A variant was also published as #4, The Bonnie Banks Of The Virgie, O in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968). Karpeles and Greenleaf (Sandy Cove, 1929) claimed the first North American sighting of the song.

Kenneth Peacock noted that fragments of this ballad have been found in the United States, but full credit for preserving it in its entirety must go to Newfoundland. The variants given by Professor Child mention just one brother. A Scottish variant was recorded by Ewan McColl and his mother, Betsy Miller. The story is known in Scandinavian folklore and was probably brought to Britain in the early invasions. The historical accidents that brought it to Newfoundland and kept it in such a high state of preservation are beyond tracing at this late date.


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