Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah) [Laws M31A/B]

DESCRIPTION: Dinah is in love with (William/Vilikens); her father insists that she will marry someone else. Dinah steals away, writes a note to her love, and drinks poison. Her love finds her body and in turn kills himself. They are buried in the same grave
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: M31A: before 1821 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.17(469)).
M31B: before 1853 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 26(662))
KEYWORDS: courting death poverty
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,So,SE) Canada(Mar) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber,Bord)) West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (32 citations):
Laws M31A, "William and Dinah A"/M31B "Vilikens and His Dinah (William and Dinah B)"
Scott-EnglishSB, pp. 64-65, "Vilikins and His DInah" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 345, "William and Dinah" (1 text)
Purslow-Constant, pp. 110-111, "William and Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan2 211, "Villikens and His Dinah" (1 fragment, 2 tunes)
Lyle-Crawfurd2 133, "Diana" (1 text)
Belden, pp. 147-148, "Wilkins and Dinah" (1 text)
Randolph 80, "Vilikens and Dinah" (1 text plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Eddy 50, "Vilikens and his Dinah" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering 162, "Young Diana" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune; the "A" text is "William and Dinah"; "B" is "Vilikens")
JHCox 105, "Vilikins and His Dinah" (1 text)
Fuson, p. 90, "Billy and Diana" (1 short text)
BrownII 204, "Wilkins and His Dinah" (1 text plus 1 excerpt and mention of 3 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 204, "Wilkins and His Dinah" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Morris, #181, "Wilkins and Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson 33, pp. 146-147, "Villikins and His Dinah" (1 text)
Boswell/Wolfe 25, pp. 46-47, "Wilkins and His Dinah (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, p. 49, "Dinah's Lovers" (1 text, in which William becomes "Sambo"!)
Linscott, pp. 301-303, "Willikins and His Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 17, "Diana and Sweet William" (1 text, 1 tune); 18, "Villikens and his Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 767-769, "Villkins and his Dinah" (2 texts)
Leach, pp. 180-181, Jimmy and Diana" (1 text)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 53-54, "Vilikins and His Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2461, p. 165, "Vilikins and His Dinah! or, The Cup of Cold Pison" (2 references)
Darling-NAS, pp. 118-119, "William and Dinah" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 266, "Villikins And His Dinah" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 603-604, "Vilikens and His Dinah -- (Sweet Betsey from Pike)"
ADDITIONAL: Peter Davison, _Songs of The British Music Hall_, Oak, 1971, pp. 20-23, "Villikins and His Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune, a full music-hall version with much patter between musical portions.)
Aline Waites & Robin Hunter, _The Illustrated Victorian Songbook_, Michael Joseph Ltd., 1984, pp. 66-68, "Villikins and His Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Martha W Beckwith, "The English Ballad in Jamaica: a Note Upon the Origin of the Ballad Form" in _Publications of the Modern Language Association_ [PMLA], Vol. XXXIXI, No. 2 (Jun 1924 (available online by JSTOR)), #10 pp. 479-482, "Adinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), pp. 91-91\2, "William and Dinah" (1 text, which seems to consist of the opening of "Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah)" [Laws M31A/B" with the happy ending of "Cupid's Garden (I) (Covent Garden I; Lovely Nancy III)" or something similar grafted onto the end)

Roud #271
Logan English, "William and Dinah" (on LEnglish01)
Laws M31A:
Bodleian, 2806 c.17(469), "William and Diana," G. Thompson (Liverpool), 1789-1820; also Harding B 15(379a), Harding B 11(3592), Harding B 11(1311), Johnson Ballads 1842, "William and Dinah"
Laws M31B:
Bodleian, Harding B 26(662), "Villikins and His Dinah," J. Moore (Belfast) , 1846-1852; also Firth c.18(231), Firth b.27(61), "Vilikens and His Dinah"; Firth b.27(159), Harding B 11(3981), Firth c.18(232), "Vilikins and His Dinah"; Harding B 11(3982), "Vilikins and His Dinah!"
LOCSheet, sm1854 551640, "Vilikens and His Dinah," Horace Waters (New York), 1854 (tune)
LOCSinging, as114360, "Villikins and Dinah," unknown, 19C

cf. "Sweet Betsy from Pike [Laws B9]" (tune & meter)
cf. "The Grand Hotel" (tune & meter)
cf. "Squarin' Up Time" (tune & meter)
cf. "Blinded by Shit" (tune & meter)
cf. "Dinky Die" (tune)
cf. "Pokegama Bear" (tune)
cf. "The H'Emmer Jane" (tune)
cf. "Johnston's Hotel" (tune)
cf. "Moses Ritoora-li-ay" (tune)
cf. "Duncan Campbell (Erin-Go-Bragh)" [Laws Q20] (tune)
cf. "Four Horses" (tune)
cf. "Nothing at All" (tune)
cf. "Dalmuir Ploughing Match" (tune)
cf. "Hans and Katrina" (theme, lyrics, tune)
Sweet Betsy from Pike [Laws B9] (File: LB09)
The Grand Hotel (File: FJ180)
Squarin' Up Time (File: FJ182)
Blinded by Shit (File: EM125)
Dinky Die (File: EM403)
Pokegama Bear (File: RcPokegB)
Johnston's Hotel (File: RcJohHot)
Four Horses (File: Rc4Horse)
Nothing At All (File: RcNoAtAl)
The Abolition Show (The Great Baby Show) (File: KPL454)
Dalmuir Ploughing Match (File: GrD3427)
A Fast Pair of Skis (File: BaRo145)
We Sing of the Polar Bear (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 43)
They Died as They Lived (per broadside Bodleian Firth b.27(61))
John Dean and His Own Mary Ann, or, The Gallant Young Coachman and the Cruel Father (plus two sequels) (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 77-78)
Mrs. Cunningham and the Baby ("A child must be born, an heir to Burdell") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 102)
The New York Ice-Man ("My name it is Michal from Dutchland I came") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 108)
Parody No. 2. on "Vilikins and His Dinah" ("There is a young damsel in Woodbridge doth dwell") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 123)
Pat and the Priest ("Pat fell sick on a time, and he sent for the Priest") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 124)
The Prince of Wales, No. 3 ("Ye Flora McFlinsey's and Frederick Fitz Foodles") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 130)
The Rich Country Gal and the Wicked City Chap (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 135)
Song of These Times ("Good people, all, I pray attend") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 148)
Susy and Pat Murphy ("Och, it's of a rich farmer in Limerick did dwell") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 152)
The Toper's Lament. A Doleful Ditty. ("It's come all you bold drunkards, and hear to my song") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 158)
The Two Lovers ("There was an old woman who somewhere did dwell") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 160)
The Yellow Haird Boy 16 Months Old ("Behind him now creeping on the carpeted floor") (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 183)
Uncle Abe, or A Hit at the Gimes ("In the town of Chicago as you know very well") (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 196)
Away to the Mountain/Away from the Mountain (both by A. D. Wheeler, [class of 18]27) (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, pp. 110-111)
Biennial (by Gilles Babcock, Jr., [class of 18]60) ("As Prex sat one evening a-talking with Linc") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 111)
Sing Tangent, Co-Tangent (by F. Browning, [class of 18]61) ("There was a Professor in New York did dwell") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 46)
Examinandum Est ("'Old Parabola' rose one fine morning in June") (by Hoffman and Lott, and with the listed tune of "Sing Tangent") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 70)
The Flunker ("There was a young man, who in New York did dwell") (with the listed tune of "Sing Tangent") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 70)
Jimmy and Diana
NOTES [335 words]: As Laws's numbers show, this ballad has two versions. The first, "William and Dinah," is a straightforward tragic piece. At some point this was rewritten as a comic piece, "Vilikens and His Dinah." The two retain enough similarity that they can still be treated as one song.
There are enough claims of authorship that I chose to leave the "Author" field empty. Jonathan Lighter and John Moulden, in posts to Ballad-L in 2010, reports that two early but undated printings in the Levy collection list John Parry as the author; another lists John Barnard. But sheet music attributions aren't always very reliable.
Waites & Hunter declare that the first singer of the comic version was one Frederick Robson, who alternated between comic and pathetic presentations -- and who would often stop in mid-performance, when the audience was laughing, and declare "This is not a comic song!" -- encouraging still more fits of laughter. According to Scott, it was his "most celebrated song. He introduced it at the Olympic Theatre, during Vestris and Planchet's management, and later at the Grecian Saloon."
In the department of Truly Useless Knowledge, we might note that the cat Dinah of Caroll's Through the Looking Glass derived its name from this song. The two cats kept by the Liddell family were Villikens and Dinah.
As for why Dinah is a character in the Alice books and Villikens wasn't... according to Colin Gordon, Beyond the Looking Glass: Reflections of Alice and Her Family, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982, p. 113, the cat Villikens died of poison. I'm not making that up, although Gordon may have been.... - RBW
I have a problem with the Beckwith text and tune: a verse of "Little Musgrave" is in the middle of the first chorus. I believe that is an editing error, possibly caused by a misplaced page. Without that insertion, Beckwith has a good example of a "Vilikins" text, tune, chorus and all. Beckwith identifies the tune as "Springfield Mountain" but it is the tune commonly used for "Vilikins." - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LM31

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