“John of Hazelgreen”


A lady is weeping for John of Hazelgreen, whom she is not permitted to marry. She is offered marriage to another; this is little to her liking. By some means or other she meets Hazelgreen, and they are married


Rewritten by Sir Walter Scott as "Jock o Hazeldean" -- a poem which has become perhaps more popular than the original ballad, and which is included in many poetic works (e.g. it is item CCXXVII in Palgrave's _Golden Treasury_).

Scholars since Child have debated the extent to which the Scott text (said to take only a single stanza from the traditional song) is influenced or has influenced tradition. One thing appears certain: The Scott text and some of the traditional versions are related (e.g. Davis's "J" is about 85% identical to the corresponding stanzas of Scott's text). Either the Scott text used more than the single stanza claimed, or his text has influenced tradition. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Child 293, "John of Hazelgreen" (5 texts)
  2. Bronson 293, "John of Hazelgreen" (29 versions)
  3. SharpAp 43, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #5a}
  4. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 369-371, "Willie of Hazel Green" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #27}
  5. Flanders/Olney, pp. 237-238, "Young Johnny of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
  6. Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 281-284, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
  7. Davis-Ballads 49, "John of Hazelgreen" (7 texts plus 2 fragments; the J text appears to have print influence; 3 tunes entitled "John o' the Hazelgreen," "John of Hazelgreen"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #3, #26, #2}
  8. Davis-More 45, pp. 350-355, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 225-227, "John of Hazelgreen" (2 short texts, with local titles "John over the Hazel Green"; 2 tunes on pp. 415-416) {Bronson's #8, #7}
  10. Peacock, pp. 537-538, "Johnny from Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Leach, pp. 674-678, "John of Hazelgreen" (3 texts)
  12. Friedman, p. 143, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text)
  13. McNeil-SFB1, pp. 91-92, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Niles 63, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  15. Abrahams/Foss, pp. 95-96, "John of Hazelgreen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #9}
  17. Roud #250
  18. BI, C293


Alternate titles: “Jock o Hazeldean”; “John over the Hazel Green”; “Jock o Hazledean”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1827 (Kinloch)
Found in: Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) US(MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)