The fair Fanny Moore, song

Patsy Judge, singing in English
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The fair Fanny Moore, song (Yonder stands a cottage all deserted and alone...)

This murder ballad most likely has its origins in the Irish or English broadside presses, though it is much more commonly heard in North American contexts. Newfoundland song scholar Anna Kearney Guigné speculates that the song gained “new life in the New World through its dissemination by way of oral tradition in such contexts as the lumber camps alongside such media as print and recordings” (2016:122). 

In other versions of this song, the wealthy suitor is named Randal and Fanny’s true love (a poor shepherd) is named Henry. In Patsy’s version of the song, the names are used interchangeably; it seems probable that this was simply a memory slip.


Curator's note: The original reel-to-reel was not available for this recording; only a cassette copy with a considerable about of tape hiss. A noise reduction filter was applied to the digital recording in its entirety in order to sharpen the sound. The effect is that the words of the song are much clearer, though there are some digital fragments/echos in the sound.