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reading tiger

I am having the damnedest time tracking down the origin of that folk story where the woman's head is tied on by a ribbon (or a thread) and falls off when her loving husband ignores her warnings against untying it. I do not want to have to go all uber-scholarly and look up the folk story number on this one; I just want a general rough outline of its history.

Also (this is not why I am looking it up) I think this might be my Halloween costume this year, if the kids really insist on me dressing up. Easiest costume ever, scary as heck to children, win-win.


The story I'm familiar with is one of my favorites - The Juniper Tree. It's a boy that has his head cut off and re-attached with a ribbon around his neck.

There's another story called The Yellow Ribbon that I've heard of, I'm not sure of the origin. In that one a girl has a ribbon around her neck holding her head on.

Yes, it's "The Yellow Ribbon" and its variations I'm after. The one I read to the kids last night was a green ribbon; I've also seen it as a red thread. I bet there's a ballad somewhere, too. I just bet.
That makes sense, and the versions there are more like the "ghost story" I think I originally heard.
Oh interesting.

Of course, that story also has a bad infestation of "a woman need not do anything more than be beautiful in order for a man to fall instantly and deeply in love with her." Barf.
Beautiful and emotionally distraught. :P