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Little Sir Hugh

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Tiotal a' Chlàir - Little Sir Hugh
Fiosraichean - Andrew Stewart
Luchd-clàraidh -
Item Person - Hugh of Lincoln

Geàrr-chunntas - Andrew Stewart recalls the story of the ballad, 'Little Sir Hugh', in which a young boy is lured into a house by a woman, who stabs him to death and dumps his body down a well. He sings a fragment as follows:

She rolled him in a cake of lead
And bid him take a sleep
And dropped him into yon draw-well,
It was fifty fathoms deep.


Fad a' Chlàir (h:m:s) - 00:01:02
Àm Clàraidh - 1956
Àm a' Chuspair - 1255 gu 1255
Cànan - Beurla
Seòrsa - Òran, Fiosrachadh
Cruinneachadh - Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba

Àireamh a' Chlàir - 27597
Àireamh an Teip Thùsail - SA1956.127
Àireamh a' Chlàir Thùsail - SA1956.127.B3
Càileachd an Fhuaime - Meadhanach Math
Cruth Inneal a' Chlàir - R2R

Seòrsachadh - C155; R73;


Àite Clàraidh:
  Siorrachd - Siorrachd Lannraig
  Paraiste - Glaschu
  Baile/Àite -

Notaichean a' Chlàir - 1 verse of 4 lines. In more complete versions of this ballad, we learn that the woman who lures the boy to his death is a "Jew's daughter". When the boy does not return home, his mother goes seeking him, and finds his corpse in the well. In the supernatural dialogue that follows, the boy's ghost instructs his mother to make preparations for his burial.
This ballad is said to reflect the circumstances surrounding the death of a young boy, Hugh of Lincoln (1247-1255), whose murdered body was found in a well. The accusation, threatening and execution of a Jewish man for this crime, coupled with the rampant anti-semitism of the time, began a pogrom in which many Jews were murdered. Hugh became a martyr for Christians, with sites he had been associated with becoming pilgrimage places. In some versions, the murderer is not a Jew, but a Gypsy.
See:
'A Scottish Ballad Book' (D. Buchan, 1973) pp. 80-81
'Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads & Songs' vol. 1 (E. Lyle, 1975) pp. 31-33
'Ancient & Modern Scottish Songs' vol. 1 (D. Herd, 1869, 1973) pp. 96-98
'A Scots Musical Museum' vol. 6 (J. Johnson & R. Burns, 1853 edition) no. 582


Ceangal Maireannach - http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/gd/fullrecord/27597/1




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