> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > My Generous Lover

My Generous Lover

[ Roud 1996 ; Ballad Index RcMGL ; trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang My Generous Lover unaccompanied in 1966 on his album The Best of A.L. Lloyd. He wrote in the album's sleeve notes:

Another song that seems to have escaped print, though it isn't all that uncommon. Its poignancy comes from the fact that the girl addresses her seducer as “generous lover” when in fact all the generosity is hers and the young man has none. Some singers call the song: Pretty Peggy, though the girl's name doesn't appear in the text.

Frankie Armstrong sang The Generous Lover on the 1968 Argo album The Female Frolic. She commented in the sleeve notes:

The story is timeless, the situation could occur as easily today and yet how intimate and specific is this song, painting with delicate poetry the feelings of a girl turned out by her family because of her love for a man whose inferior status makes him “unsuitable”

The singing is from Mary Hackett of Limerick, the text is part collated from The Irish Folk Song Journal. A.L. Lloyd collected the song from Mary Hackett in Dublin in 1947. Although variants of the tune have turned up since in Ireland, no other set of the words has been found.

Martin Simpson played the tune of My Generous Lover live at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, October 15, 1994, which was released on his Beautiful Jo album Live, and in the mid-1990s in Berkeley, California, which was released in 2004 on his DVD In Concert at the Freight & Salvage.

Maggie Boyle sang My Generous Lover, “from the singing of ShirleyCollins”, on her 1998 CD Gweebarra.

Pilgrims' Way sang My Generous Lover in 2011 on their CD Wayside Courtesies. They commented in their liner notes:

Lucy [Wright] learned the song from Maggie Boyle, her hero. It is paired with the tune Det Tømte Mjødkruset from the pen of Norwegian tune maker Sven Nyhus, literally translating as “the empty jug of homebrew beer”. We couldn't think of anything sadder—and it seemed an appropriate companion piece. Tom [Kitching] learnt it from Hardanger powerhouse, Sturla Eide.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings My Generous Lover

Oh the first she saw her love, happy was she.
She knew not what love was nor how to deny,
But she made too much freedom of her love's company,
Saying, “My generous lover, you're welcome to me.”

Oh happy's the maid that ne'er loved a man
And easy can tie up her narrow waist band.
She's free from all sorrow and sad misery,
Who never said, “My lover, you're welcome to me.”

She says, "My friends and relations they angry are all
Because I've gone with you from my father's fine hall.
But my friends and relations they angry may be,
Oh my generous lover, you're welcome to me.”

He says, “Now it's farewell dear for I must away
And I in this country no longer can stay.
But keep your mind easy and keep your heart free,
Let no man be your sharer, my darling, but me.”

This poor pretty creature, she stood on the ground
With her cheeks white as ivory and the tears falling down,
Saying, “Jimmy, dear Jimmy, you're the first that e'er wooed me,
And I'm sorry that I ever said, you're welcome to me.”

Maggie Boyle sings My Generous Lover

The first I saw my love, happy was I.
I knew not what love was nor how to deny,
But I made too much freedom of my love's company,
Saying, “My generous lover, you are welcome to me.”

She says, “My relations they angry are all
Because I have gone with you from my father's fine hall.
But my friends and relations, let them all angry be,
For my generous lover, you are welcome to me.”

He says, “Now farewell dear and I must away
For I in this country no longer can stay.
But keep your mind easy and keep your heart free,
Let no man be your sharer, my darling, but me.”

This poor pretty creature, she stood on the ground
With her cheeks white as ivory and the tears running down,
Crying, “Jimmy, my dearest Jimmy, you're the first that ever wooed me,
And I'm sorry that I ever said, you are welcome to me.”

Oh happy's the girl that never loved a man
And easy can tie up her narrow waist band.
For she's free from all sorrow and sad misery
That never said, “My lover, you are welcome to me.”

Pilgrims' Way sing My Generous Lover

The first I met my love, happy was I.
I knew not what love was nor how to deny,
But I made too much freedom of my love's company,
Saying, “My generous lover, you are welcome to me.”

My friends and relations they angry are all
Because I've gone with you from my father's fine hall.
But my friends and relations, let them all angry be,
For my generous lover, you are welcome to me.”

But he says, “Now farewell dear for I must away
And I in this country no longer can stay.
But keep your mind easy and keep your self free,
Let no man be your sharer, my darling, but me.”

Oh happy's the lass who never loved a man
And so easily can tie up her narrow waist band.
For she's free from all sorrow and sad misery
That she never said, “My lover, you are welcome to me.”

So this poor pretty creature, she sat on the ground
With her cheeks white as ivory and the tears falling down,
Crying, “Jimmy, my dearest Jimmy, you're the first that ever wooed me,
And I'm sorry that I ever said, you are welcome to me,
And I'm sorry that I ever said, you are welcome to me.”

Acknowledgements

Lyrics copied from the Digital Tradition at the Mudcat Café and adapted to the actual singing of A.L. Lloyd.