Katie Cruel (The Leeboy's Lassie; I Know Where I'm Going)

DESCRIPTION: "When first I came to the town, They called me the roving jewel; Now they've changed my name; They call me Katie Cruel." The ending varies; the girl sets her heart on someone, but she may or may not get him and he may or may not rule over her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1611 (quoted by Beaumont & Fletcher)
KEYWORDS: love courting
FOUND IN: US(NE) Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #138, pp. 1-2, "The Leaboy's Lassie"; #140, pp. 2-3, "The Leaboy's Lassie"; #143, p. 3, "The Lea-boy's Lassie"; #145, p. 2, "The Leaboy's Lassie (2 texts plus 2 fragments)
Greig/Duncan4 725, "The Leaboy's Lassie," Greig/Duncan8 Addenda, "The Leaboy's Lassie" (10 texts plus a fragment, 7 tunes)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 123-124, "Regimental Song," "Katie Cruel" (2 short texts, the first one having lost all references to Katie, the Leeboy, or any other proper noun)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 225-227, "Katy Cruel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-TheBalladOfAmerica, pp. 50-52, "Katie Cruel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, p. 109, "I Know Where I'm Going" (1 text, 1 tune, probably influenced by popular recordings)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 153, "I Know Where I'm Going" (1 text); p. 194 ,"Katy Cruel" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), p. 267, "I Know Where I'm Going" (1 text)
Roy Palmer, _The Folklore of Warwickshire_, Rowman and Littlefield, 1976, pp. 148-149, "(Aye for Saturday night, Sunday is a-coming)" (1 text)

Roud #1645 and 5701
Bodleian, Harding B 25(610), "Fancy Lad" ("When first I came to town"), C. Croshaw (York), 1814-1850; also 2806 c.17(123), "Fancy Lad"
cf. "I Ken Whaur I'm Goin'" (parody)
cf. "The Hexhamshire Lass" (lyrics)
cf. "Aye Wauking, O" (some verses)
cf. " I'm A'Deen, Johnnie" (lyrics, theme)
cf. "I Would That I Were Where I Wish" (lyrics)
The Lichtbob's Lassie
The Ploughboy's Lassie
Lingboo's Lammie
Rob's Lassie
NOTES [491 words]: The forms and endings of this song are extremely diverse, although I've only heard three tunes, two of them clearly related. I might be tempted to break the piece up into separate entries, except that there is simply no way to draw the boundaries.
Paul Stamler observes, "I think ['I Know Where I'm Going'] may need its own entry, being as how it's only overlap with 'Katie Cruel' is the 'I know where I'm going' verse. On the other hand, it's a distinct nonballad, so maybe not." As usual, there is truth in this; the two basic families are "Katie Cruel" and "Leaboy's Lassie" (the latter clearly the forerunner of "I Know Where I'm Going"). However, there is much more in common between these two than just the "I know where...." verse.
My guess is that the original is Scottish, but I could well be wrong. Don Duncan points out a broadside, "A New Song, Called Harry Newell," which is clearly a form of the same thing and printed probably in the eighteenth or early nineteenth century. It is English or Irish, not Scottish.
Child alluded to this piece in his appendix of fragments, quoting a stanza from Beaumont and Fletcher's "Knight of the Burning Pestle," Act II, Scene viiii:
She cares not for her daddy,
Nor she cares not for her mammy;
For she is, she is, she is, she is
My lord of Lowgrave's lassy.
(This, incidentally, is the part of the play densest in traditional song; in my edition -- p. 335 of M. L. Wine's Drama of the English Renaissance -- five songs are quoted in the space of thirty lines.)
Based on the date, this may well be very close to the original of this piece.
On the other hand, Celia and Kenneth Sisam, The Oxford Book of Medieval Engish Verse, Oxford University Press, 1970; corrected edition 1973, #206, pp. 455-456, begins, "Some men sayen that I am blac; It is a colour for my prow. There I love ther is n lac; I may not be so white as thou. Blac is a colour that is good -- So say I and many mo: Blac is my hat, blac is my hood, Blac is al that longeth therto." Probably not the same song, but with interesting similarities.
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland claims it "is a marching song used by the American troops in the Revolutionary War" (compare the Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads title). But she was ignorant of most of the other versions.
Ritson printed the chorus, "O that I was where I would be, Then would I be where I am not, But where I am I must be, And where I would be I cannot," in Gammer Gurton's Garland, 1784 (see Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #80, p. 82; see also Ben Schwartz's note below). - RBW
One chorus is the same as Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 246, "Oh that I were I would be" (earliest date in Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes is 1784).
Greig/Duncan4: "Light Bobs were light infantrymen formerly part of the fighting establishment of all foot regiments but in the mid-nineteenth century re-grouped to form light infantry regiments." - BS
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File: SBoA050

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