J M Carpenter's initial interest was in collecting songs and chanteys of the sea, but he began to seek old ballads too, and eventually worked hard on these twin topics.
He consulted the standard collection of ballads by American scholar Francis Child, whose categorised references numbers and titles for various ballads are used by Carpenter, though when writing his card notes he often uses the singers' titles, then later makes uses of the Child number..

Unusual Versions of Ballads

Many of the singers had the same or very similar texts for their ballads, either learned directly from printed 'broadsides' that were sold at fairs, [he would ask singers about when broadsides were sold in their area] or learned from other singers who had learned from the broadside texts.
However, sometimes he found unusual or even unique versions of ballads.
In particular, Mrs Watson Gray of Fochabers sang him her versions of two nowadays very well known and widely sung ballads - The Bonny Earl Of Murray and The Burning Of Auchendoun.
But for both her versions richly elaborate and add to the narrative of these ballads.

AL Aldivalloch
BAL Balintore
BB Bogbain
BM Bishopmill, Elgin
DEL – Delny
EN – East Neuk, Fochabers
EV – Evanton
FOC Fochabers
FOR Forres
INV – Inverness
LAT – Latheron
PG – Port Gordon
KE - Keith
SH Shandwick
SP Spey Bay

[CH - F J Child Ballad Reference Number]

Andrew Lammie [aka Mill o Tifty’s Annie] [PG, FOC] Barbara Allen [DEL, SH] CH84
The Baron O Brackley [FOC] CH203
The Battle Of Harlaw [JYT] CH167
The Beggar Man [aka Gaberlunzie Man / The Jolly Beggar] [SB, DEL, FO, KE, SH] CH279
The Bonny Banks O Fodrie [INV]
The Bonny Earl of Murray [FOC] CH181
The Bonny Hoose o Airlie [PG, SB, JYT, FO, KE] CH199
The Broom of the Cowdenknowes [DEL, PG] CH217
Broomfield Hill [SH] CH43
The Burning Of Auchindoun [aka Willie Mackintosh] [FOC]
Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship [aka True lover of mine] [DEL, JYT] CH46
Child Maurice [?] CH83
Clyde Water [JYT] CH216
The Cruel Mother [EV, FOC] CH20
The Douglas Tragedy [PG] CH7
The Dowie Dens o Yarrow [BAL, SH, PG, SB, JYT, FOC, KE] CH214
The Duke Of Atholl’s Nurse [DEL, SH]
The Earl of Rosslyn’s Daughter [aka Laird] [SB, LAT, SH] CH46
Earl Richard [SH] CH68
Edom of Gordon [FOC,] CH178
The Elfin Knight [EV, FOC, FO, BB] CH2 T
he Fair Floor o Northumberland [FO]
Geordie [aka Bog o Gight / Bonny Bog o Gight] [DEL, JYT, FOC] CH209
Glenkindie [FOC]
Glenlogie [FOC] CH238
The Golden Vanity [KE, LAT]
The Gypsy Laddy [FOC] CH200
Hind Horn [LAT, SH?] CH17
Johnnie o Braidislie [aka Johnnie Brodie] [BAL, JYT, KE] CH114
The Keech In The Creel [FO, SH x2] CH281
The Knight & The Shepherd’s Daughter [SH] CH110
The Laird o Drum [DEL, EV, PG, JYT, LAT, FOC x3, KE] CH236
The Laird o Esselmont [FOC]
Lang Johnnie More [FOC] CH251
Lord Beichan [FOC, SH] CH53
Lord Donald [sh]
Lord Lovel [KE]
Lord Randall [PG, SB, KE] CH12
The Noble Duke Of Gordon [LAT]
Oor Goodman [FOC, SH x2] CH274
The Queen’s Four Maries [aka Mary Hamilton] [JYT, FOC, KE] CH137 The Rose And The LInsey O [DEL]
Sir Patrick Spens [FOC] CH58
Thomas the Rymour [FOC] CH37
Three Bonny Boys [EV]
The Twa Sisters [aka Binnorie] [FOC, KE] CH10

Because Carpenter's recordings are only initial verses, and are hard to hear ,we have added Tobar An Dualchais archive recordings from the 1960s, and present day Youtube performances, of the the ballads he found most versions of. Select below.

The Bonny Earl Of Moray by Old Blind Dogs
The Bonny Hoose O Airlie by Belle Stewart / Kate Rusby
Donald The Dancer by Daimh
The Riddle Song aka The Elfin Knight or Captain Wedderburn by John Mowat / Jean Redpath
The Dowie Dens O Yarrow by Mary Kindness / Karine Polwart
The Laird O Drum, by Jeannie Robertson / Amber Rose and Jamie Laval
The Burning Of Auchindoun by Sophy Ramsay & Michael R Plowman