“Earl Brand”

Alternate titles: “Sweet Willie”; “Jolly Soldier”; “Lord William's Death”; “William and Ellen”; “Brandywine”; “The Child of Ell”; “Fair Ellender”; “Sweer William and Fair Ellen”; “As He Rode Up to the Old Man's Gate”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1803 (Scott)
Keywords: courting death fight
Found in: Britain(England(North),Scotland) US(Ap,MA,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)

Description

(Earl Brand) falls in love with a high lady against her father's will. They flee together, but are overtaken. Earl Brand slays almost all the pursuers, but is himself sorely wounded. They flee on, but at last Earl Brand must stop and dies.

Notes

Child admits that he has "only with much hesitation" separated this from "Erlinton" [Child 8], and many others have inclined to join them. Scott viewed "A Child of Elle" (the Percy text of this piece) as a forerunner of "Erlinton."

Two of Niles's versions seem to be mixed texts; both relate a conversation between the knight and his horse, and end with the intertwined rose-and-briar. (This is not uncommon in American versions; Robert Shiflett, of Brown's Cove, Virginia, had a similar mixed version.) The second, "William and Ellen," consists primarily of these elements; little is left of the plot of "Earl Brand."

Quite a few people (e.g. Eddy) list "The Bold Soldier" [Laws M27] as a version of this balled, and some few of these may have slipped into the above list. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Child 7, "Earl Brand" (9 texts)
  2. Bronson 7, "Earl Brand" (42 versions plus 2 in addenda)
  3. Percy/Wheatley I, pp. 131-139, "The Child of Elle" (2 texts, one being that of the Percy Folio and the other the result of Percy's reconstruction of the text)
  4. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 6-7, "The Brave Earl Brand" (1 text, 1 tune) {cf. Bronson's #1b}
  5. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 35-40, "The Seven Brothers" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #6, #28}
  6. Randolph 3, "Rise Ye Up" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #27}
  7. Flanders/Olney, pp. 228-230, "Lord William and Lady Margaret" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
  8. Flanders-Ancient1, pp. 128-130, "Earl Brand" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
  9. Davis-Ballads 4, "Earl Brand" (4 texts plus 1 of "The Bold Soldier," 2 tunes entitled "The Seven Brothers, or The Seven Sleepers";"The Seven Brothers, or Lord William"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #24, #40}
  10. Davis-More 5, pp. 26-34, "Earl Brand" (4 texts, 4 tunes; the "CC" text looks mixed)
  11. BrownII 3, "Earl Brand" (2 texts plus 2 excerpts and mention of 3 more)
  12. Hudson 2, pp. 66-68, "Earl Brand" (1 text)
  13. Warner 79, "Sweet Willie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 45-46, "Sweet Willie (Earl Brand)" (1 text)
  15. Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 115-116, "Earl Brand" (1 text, properly titled "Sweet William," plus an untitled excerpt)
  16. Brewster 4, "Earl Brand" (1 text plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune) {Bronson's #35}
  17. Greenleaf/Mansfield 2, "Lord Robert" (1 text)
  18. Karpeles-Newfoundland 2, "Earl Brand" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #10)
  19. Leach, pp. 66-71, "Earl Brand" (2 texts)
  20. OBB 38, "Earl Brand"; 39, "The Douglas Tragedy" (2 texts)
  21. Friedman, p. 68, "Earl Brand (The Douglas Tragedy)" (1 text+1 fragment)
  22. Ord, pp. 404-406, "The Douglas Tragedy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  23. PBB 33, "Earl Brand"; 49, "The Douglas Tragedy" (2 texts)
  24. Niles 5, "Earl Brand" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  25. Gummere, pp. 206-208+349-350, "Earl Brand" (1 text)
  26. SharpAp 4 "Earl Brand" (12 texts, 12 tunes) {Bronson's #13, #15, #14, #12, #11, #19, #20, #39, #26, #16, #36, #18}
  27. Sharp/Karpeles-80E 3, "The Seven Sleepers" (1 text, 1 tune -- a single traditional verse filled out from other printed sources by the editor) {Bronson's #20, but Bronson has a different text}
  28. Mackenzie 2, "The Seven Brethren" (1 text)
  29. Hodgart, p. 29, "Earl Brand (the Douglas Tragedy)" (1 text)
  30. TBB 13, "The Douglas Tragedy (Earl Brand)" (1 text)
  31. JHCox 2, "Earl Brand" (1 text)
  32. HarvClass-EP1, pp. 51-54, "The Douglas Tragedy" (1 text)
  33. Abrahams/Foss, pp. 7-8, "Earl Brand" (1 text, 1 tune)
  34. Silber-FSWB, p. 216, "Earl Brand" (1 text)
  35. cf. BBI, ZN2487, "There was a bold seaman, a ship he could steer"
  36. DT 7, DOUGTRAD* DOUGTRD2
  37. Roud #23
  38. BI, C007