“Two Lovers Discoursing”


Mary accuses her lover of breaking his promise to marry her; he denies this and asks who has spread the rumor that he is courting Nancy. But he still will not wed, until Mary points out that even birds are truer than he is. He gives in; they are married


Creighton-SNewBrunswick: "There must be some relation between 39A and B. The former seems to have originated with the folk and the latter to have been a literary composition taken over by the folk. They are placed together because of subject matter and also because singers give variants of the same title." If so they have grown so far apart that there is no hint in the words that they are related. For 39B see "The True Lovers' Discussion." - BS

It's interesting to note that both of the Creighton-SNewBrunswick versions of this song are from the same informant, but differ in both text and tune. Though it's perhaps not as exceptional as Creighton thinks; consider how many different versions *you* probably know of "The Gypsy Laddie." - RBW


  1. Laws O22, "Two Lovers Discoursing"
  2. Doerflinger, pp. 316-317, "Two Lovers Discoursing" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Creighton-Maritime, p. 50, "Nancy's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 31, "The Most Unconstant of Young Men" (1 text, 1 tune); 39A, "The True Lovers' Discussion" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. DT 481, TWOLOVRS
  6. Roud #991
  7. BI, LO22


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1954 (Creighton-Maritime)
Found in: Canada(Mar)