Matty Groves

Composer: Traditional


This list is not intended to be comprehensive.

info British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 2, Jean Ritchie, 1960
info Ballads from Her Appalachian Family Tradition, Jean Ritchie, 1961
no info British Traditional Ballads Of The Southern Mountains, Vol. 2, Jean Ritchie, 1961
no info Two-Way Trip, Ewan McColl, 1961
no info Joseph Able Trivett, Joseph Able Trivett, 1962
no info In Concert, Joan Baez, 1962
info Dulcimer Songs and Solos, Paul Clayton, 1962
no info Folk At The Phil!, The Spinners, 1964
no info Old Love Songs and Ballads from the Big Laurel, North Carolina, Various Artists (Dillard Chandler), 1964
info American Folk Singers And Balladeers, Various Artists (Joan Baez), 1964
no info Home Again, Doc Watson, 1967
no info Pretty Saro, Hedy West, 1966
info The Asch Recordings, 1939 to 1945, Vol. 2, Various Artists (John Jacob Niles), 1967
no info Prince Heathen, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, 1969
no info Sings Folk Songs, Shep Ginandes, 196?
no info Introducing The Beers Family, The Beers Family, 196?
no info Liege and Lief, Fairport Convention, 1970
info The Joan Baez Ballad Book, Joan Baez, 1972
no info Live, Fairport Convention, 1974
no info Songs and Ballads, Frankie Armstrong, 1976
info The Songbook, Joan Baez, 1977
info Golden Hour Presents, Volume 2, Joan Baez, 1977
no info Mother Jones' Will, Nimrod Workman, 1978
no info Brighter Than Usual, Bodgers Mate, 1978
no info Farewell, Farewell, Fairport Convention, 1980
no info House Full, Fairport Convention, 1986
info Island Life, Various Artists (Fairport Convention), 1988
no info History Of, Fairport Convention, 1989
no info Just Gimme Something I'm Use To, Norman and Nancy Blake, 1992
info Island Life Media Sampler, Various Artists (Fairport Convention), 1996
no info Collection, John Jacob Niles, 19??
info Encore/Encore, Fairport Convention, 2000
info Heart of England Volume Two, Various Artists (Fairport Convention), 2002
no info Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie, Various Artists (Doc Watson), 2002
info DocFest: A Tribute to Doc Watson and His Musical Partners Merle Watson and Jack Lawrence, Various Artists, 2003
info This Is Folk, Various Artists (Fairport Convention), 2006
info Steel, Nell & Jim Band, 2019


Possibly played by Garcia at the Chateau in Menlo Park on November 18th 1961, though no tape circulates.

Collected by Child (Ballad No. 81) as Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard. Occurs in many ballad collections with a great variety of titles including; Little Mattie, Little Matha Groves, Lord Orland's Wife, Lord Arnold, Lord Daniels Wife, Lord Banner, Little Musgrave, Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard and so on. Matty Groves has become the 'standard' title in recent times.

A fragment of the text of the song occurs in the Fletcher and Beaumont play The Knight of the Burning Pestle from 1611. Parts of the text were entered in the Stationers Register in 1630. The earliest record of a tune connected with the text is from 1827.

The song appeared to have died out in the oral tradition in Britain in the 19th century. All 20th century collections of the song have been in the US where it remained widely distributed.