“Young Alvin”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1974 (recording, Packie Manus Byrne)
Keywords: courting elopement death fight father nobility
Found in: Ireland

Description

Alvin loves Melanie. He takes two horses to her father's house in Earl's Court. The chambermaid tells him that Melanie will be married the next day to Lord Farthington to satisfy her father's debt. They duel. Alvin wins and elopes with Melanie.

Notes

Yates, Musical Traditions site _Voice of the People suite_ "Notes - Volume 17" - 15.9.02: "According to both R S Thomson and Frank Purslow (personal correspondence) versions of 'Young Alvin' appeared in late 18th-century chapbooks, although I [Mike Yates?] have not, so far, come across one."

Musical Traditions site _Voice of the People suite_ "Reviews - Volume 17" by Rod Stradling - 7.11.98: "Packie Byrne sings 'Young Alvin,' which I've never been entirely certain isn't a fake -- it certainly doesn't sound as if it's passed through many hands in the aural transmission process." - BS

I think I agree. "Alvin and Melanie?" Sounds like a sixties sitcom. And they'd have to elope a *long* way to avoid punishment for killing a lord. Some google searching seems to reveal that there is a literary original back there somewhere, though all the allusions were too oblique to actually cite (so much for finding everything on the Internet). - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #2988
  2. BI, RcYoAlvi