Farewell Ballymoney (Loving Hannah; Lovely Molly)

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, meeting is a pleasure between my love and I; I'll go down to yon low valley to meet her by and by...." The young (man) watches his love turn away from him. He laments her infidelity. (He departs from the town and goes to America)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1866 (Musick-JAF-TheOldAlbumOf-William-A-Larkin)
KEYWORDS: courting separation emigration
FOUND IN: Ireland Australia US(Ap,MW,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(Lond),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (20 citations):
Randolph 749, "Black-Eyed Mary" (1 text plus an excerpt, 2 tunes)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 82, "The Lover's Lament" (4 texts plus a fragment, "E," that is probably "Handsome Molly")
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 82, "The Lover's Lament" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes; the "B" excerpt is probably "Farewell Ballymoney (Loving Hannah; Lovely Molly)" while "E" is probably "Handsome Molly")
Dean-FlyingCloud, pp. 111-112, "Down In Yonder Valley" (1 text)
Musick-JAF-TheOldAlbumOf-William-A-Larkin 22, "On One Monday Morning" (1 text)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, p. 172, "Lovely Molly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 44, "The Irish Girl" (1 text, 1 tune, a confused and conflate mix of this song and "The Irish Girl")
Gentry/Smith-ASingerAmongSingers, #50, "You Well Remember (I Went to Church Last Sunday)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, p. 38, "Sweet Willie" (1 text, six verses derived from at least two and probably three or four songs; the largest portion is "On Top of Old Smokey" but there is a bit of "Farewell Ballymoney (Loving Hannah; Lovely Molly)" and something from one of amorphous the "courting is a pleasure" group)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 95-96, "Loving Hannah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H625, pp. 342-343, "Dark-Eyed Molly"; H615, p. 343, "Farewell Ballymoney" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Peacock, pp. 465-466, "In Courtship There Lies Pleasure" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, p. 71, "Courting Is a Pleasure" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig/Duncan6 1192, "I'll Gang Doon Tae Yonder Valley" (1 text)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 155, "Going to Mass Last Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
McBride-FlowerOfDunaffHillAndMoreTradSongsInnishowen 37, "Going to Mass Last Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
Graham-Joe-Holmes-SongsMusicTraditionsOfAnUlsterman 24, "Farewell Ballymoney" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 63, "I Went to Mass on Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 103, "Loving Hannah" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #454
Margaret Barry, "Going to Mass on Sunday" (fragment) (on IRMBarry-Fairs)
Mrs. Freeman Bennett, "In Courtship There Lies Pleasure" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Gerald Campbell, "The Girl Who Slighted Me" (on ITMA/CapeShoreNL)
Robert Cinnamond, "Going to Church Last Sunday" (on IRRCinnamond02) (fragment; two verses)
Jean Ritche, "Lovin' Hannah" (fragment) (on IRMBarry-Fairs)
Winnie Ryan, "Going To Mass Last Sunday" (on FSBFTX15)
Roisin White, "Courting Is a Pleasure" (on IRRWhite01)

cf. "In Eighteen-Forty-Nine" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Dark and Dreary Weather" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Handsome Molly"
cf. "The Irish Girl" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The Blazing Star of Drum (Drim, Drung)" (theme)
cf. "I've Travelled This Country (Last Friday Evening)" (floating lyrics)
Courting is a Pleasure
NOTES [396 words]: The setting of this song varies widely. One stanza, however, is fairly characteristic:
I went to church last Sunday, (this line may vary)
My true love passed me by;
I could see her mind was a-changing
By the rolling of her eye.
Unfortunately, this stanza also shows up in some versions of "The Irish Girl"; these two songs seem to have mixed badly,
I believe the old-time country song "Handsome Molly" to be a form of this piece (and most experts agree), but it has achieved such a degree of independent circulation that it is listed in the Index as a separate song. - RBW
I think I should make clear that although I think "Handsome Molly" is indeed derived, vaguely, from "Farewell Ballymoney," it has acquired so many extraneous verses that *don't* duplicate "Farewell B." verses that they've crowded all the originals out except "Went to Church Last Sunday," which I think constitutes speciation, although only just.
Oh, and I've had a communication from Sandy Paton about a talk he had with Jeannie Robertson. Virtually all the versions of the song that are called "Loving Hannah," including the excellent recent one by revival singer Bill Jones, are derived from Robertson's version, and hers came from... Jean Ritchie, when she was over in Britain on a Fulbright, collecting songs that were related to her family's songs. So if it's from Britain, and called "Loving Hannah," it's "really" from Kentucky.
No wonder folklorists drink. - PJS
And just in case that isn't bad enough, it took off in another direction in Ireland. Donagh MacDonagh took the first two lines ("Going to Mass last Sunday my true love passed me by, I knew her mind was altered by the rolling of her eye") and the Lowlands of Holland tune and produced a poem about what the singer actually felt during the mass as he hoped he changed her mind; this adaption can be found in Donagh MacDonagh and Lennox Robinson, The Oxford Book of Irish Verse (Oxford, 1958, 1979), pp. 261, under the title "Going to Mass Last Sunday." - RBW
The version on IRRCinnamond02 is the first two verses of Greig/Duncan6 1192, "I'll Gang Doon Tae Yonder Valley," though Cinnamond's soldier is false-hearted rather than faint-hearted.
While [Winnie] Ryan's text is cited by Kennedy as the basis for his Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 155 text only a few lines are shared by the recording and the text in his book. - BS
Last updated in version 6.4
File: R749

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