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Collection of eighty street ballads: Sandy & Jenny

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820–1830). London: n.p., n.d.

University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Pasted to album leaf 6: broadside containing "Indian Lass" (left column) and "Sandy & Jenny" (right column); numbered "128" at right margin, below text.

<Image: wood engraving showing two lovers half reclining against a fragment of a wall overgrown with vegetation; a building and trees in the background to the left.>

Sandy & Jenny

Come, come bonnie lassie, cried Sandy away,
While mither is spinning and father's away;
The folks are at work, and the bairns are at play
And we will be married dear Jenny to-day,

Stay, stay bonnie laddie, I answered with s<pe>ed,
I winna, I munna go with you indeed;
Besides, should I do so<,> what would the folks say
O, we canna marry dear Sandy to-day.

"List, list, cried he lassie," and mind what you do
Baith Peggy and Patty I gave up for you;
Besides a full twelvemonth we've trifled away,
And one or the other I'll marry to-day.

Fie! fie! bonnie laddie, replied I again,
When Peggy you kiss'ed t<'>other day on the plain.
Beside a new ribbon does Patty display,
So me canna marry poor Sandy to-day<.>

Then a good-bye bonnie lassie, says he,
For Peggy and Patty are waiting for me,
The kirk is hard by, and the bell call away,
And Peggy or Patty I'll marry to-day.

Stay, stay bonnie laddie, said I with a smile,
For you know I was joking, indeed all the while
Let Peggy go spin, and send Patty away,
And we will be married dear Sandy to-day.

Basic transcription by Kirsten Culler, who also supplied the following information. Pointed brackets mark emendations.

No printer is named on the broadside, and the ballad is not listed in Catnach's Catalogue (1832). At least two other versions were published. One, in the ballad collection of the British Museum, is reproduced in the microfilm collection Popular Literature in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain, part 2: there James Catnach is named as the printer. Aside from slight variations in spelling and punctuation, and a few differences in wording, that version is nearly identical to the one reported here. However, an unusual difference is the use, in the British Museum version, of small superscript numerals instead of apostrophe marks (three instances).

A third version is reproduced by Peter W. Carnell in Ballads in the Charles Harding Firth Collection of the University of Sheffield: A Descriptive Catalogue with Indexes (Sheffield, Eng.: University of Sheffield Printing Unit, 1979); there John Harkness is identified as the printer. The Sheffield version shares some features with both of the other versions reported here; the spelling more closely resembles that of the Minnesota version. The woodcut, however, is different, showing a man (playing a pipe of some kind) and a woman, both standing in front of a cottage.

Glossary (mostly of Scots terms):

not, usually used in combination with an auxilliary verb
physically attractive
will not
must not
can not
expletive expressing disgust or outraged sense of propriety

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/sandy.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 15 April 1997
Revised 28 April 1997