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Constant Farmer's Son, The

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Performer: Wakefield, R
Place Collected: Winchcombe
Date collected: 1908 (5 Apr)
Collector: Grainger, Percy
Roud Number: 675

The story seems to be a re-write of an older ballad “The Brake of Briars” or “Bruton Town” (Roud 18) but with some elements missing. However, it still has the element of the girl seeing her murdered lover in a dread, finding the body and denouncing her brothers for the crime. Although this song, and also The Brake of Briars, can only be traced back to the early 19th century, the story itself is old. It is told the 14th century work Decameron by Boccacio and retold in the Keats’ poem “Isabella or the Pot of Basil.” It was printed on various broadsides and has been found in oral tradition on both sides of the Atlantic.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 12 May 2015