“The Unquiet Grave”

Alternate titles: “The Wind Blew Up, the Wind Blew Down”; “The Resurrected Sweetheart”; “The Green Grave”; “The Restless Dead”; “The Restless Grave”; “Charles Graeme”; “Cold Falling Drops of Dew”; “Cold Blows the Winter's Winds”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1832 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.17(460))
Keywords: ghost mourning freedom
Found in: US(Ap,MA,NE,SE) Britain(England(All),Scotland) Canada(Newf)

Description

After a young man dies/is killed, his lover mourns by his grave for a year and a day and beyond. This prevents the dead man from resting. He comes to his sweetheart begging for release

Notes

Bronson speculates that a version of this inspired the carol "There blows a colde wynd todaye, todaye" (c. 1500; in MS Bodl. 7683=Ashmole 1379; Brown/Robbins Index #3525; for texts see Stevick-MEL 93; Luria & Hoffman, _Middle English Lyrics_ #166, though the two offer noticeably different texts of the same unique original). I must say that I find this a stretch; the similarities are slight indeed.

The notion that excessive mourning (usually meaning mourning for more than a year and a day) results in the ghost being unable to rest is at least hinted at in several other songs, the most noteworthy being "The Wife of Usher's Well" [Child 79]. - RBW

Cross references

Broadsides

Recordings

References

  1. Child 78, "The Unquiet Grave" (7 texts)
  2. Bronson 78, "The Unquiet Grave" (43 versions+9, mostly tunes only, in addenda)
  3. Leather, pp. 202-203, "Cold Blows the Wind; or, The Unquiet Grave" (1 text, 1 tune, from different informants) {Bronson's #12}
  4. Flanders/Olney, pp. 232-233, "Cold Blows the Wind" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Flanders-Ancient2, pp. 184-186, ""The Unquiet Grave (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's }
  6. Davis-More 22, pp. 157-160, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  7. BrownII 24, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  8. Ritchie-Southern, p. 58, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Greenleaf/Mansfield 10, "The Unquiet Grave" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #36, #31}
  10. Peacock, pp. 410-412, "The Unquiet Grave" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  11. Karpeles-Newfoundland 10, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Blondahl, p. 111, "The Auld Song From Cow Head" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Leach, pp. 262-263, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  14. OBB 34, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  15. Friedman, p. 32, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text, 1 tune)
  16. PBB 31, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  17. Sharp-100E 24, "The Unquiet Grave (or Cold Blows the Wind)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #35}
  18. Hodgart, p. 146, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  19. TBB 30, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  20. Niles 32, "The Unquiet Grave" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  21. Abrahams/Foss, pp. 40-41, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
  22. Silber-FSWB, p. 218, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  23. Darling-NAS, pp. 31-32, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  24. DT 78, UNQUIGR1* UNQUIGR2*
  25. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #371, "The Unquiet Grave" (1 text)
  26. Roud #51
  27. BI, C078