“Giles Scroggins”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1848 (Davidson's Universal Melodist)
Keywords: love courting death ghost humorous
Found in: US(SE)

Description

"Giles Scroggins courted Molly Brown... If you love me as I love you, No knife can cut our love in two." "But scissors cut as well as knives... For just as they were going to wed, Fate's scissors cut poor Giles's thread." She refuses his ghost in a dream

Notes

Davis thinks this piece "evidently a burlesque of 'Giles Collins,'" and this is certainly possible. But it is so broad, and the plot so commonplace, that it could easily have arisen independently.

Davis also has notes on the authorship and various places it has appeared, mostly in broadside or songster form. He admits that the attributions are all uncertain. It's not clear if the song ever really went into tradition, but it certainly was printed frequently. - RBW

References

  1. Davis-Ballads 25, "[Appendix to] Lady Alice" (1 text)
  2. Roud #1620
  3. BI, DavB025