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The first is based upon the acknowledgement of the social stigma attached to illegitimate birth in the past. Lloyd promulgates a romantic notion whereby particular songs, such as "Gathering Rushes in the Month of May," are seen as equipping particular individuals to deal with the pain of their existence (see "Maids A-Rushing", Chapter 6). This is accomplished in song by transcending the harsh realities of one's existence through "transposing the world on to an imaginative plane . . colouring it with fantasy, turning bitter even brutal facts of 22 life into something beautiful, tragic, honourable" (170).

In the 1960s, writers such as Gershon Legman and Kenneth Goldstein drew attention to the extent of this earlier neglect in relation to erotic and sexually explicit kinds of material. g. Goldstein, "Bowdlerization" 380-81). Legman was acutely aware of the hypocrisy surrounding the exclusion of sexual materials from published collections, given the prevalence of violent and gory deaths in folksong compilations such as Child's (Lloyd 198). Work undertaken during this period of "rebellion" confirms that many narratives relating to illegitimate birth were amongst material previously vetoed, censorship in this area being surprisingly extreme.

Thus, beds that were initially meant to join lovers and to mark their passage to adult status are associated with a different change of status. (143) Interestingly, a variant of the "illegitimacy" song "Rosemary Lane" is exceptional in this respect. As with South West variants, a sailor pays a woman for her favors. But for this one pleasureful union, the young woman is left alone. In fact, she receives gold and a child, but neither a home nor a husband - a case of imperfect production and reproduction.

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