Mudcat Café message #2474228 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #115504   Message #2474228
Posted By: Steve Gardham
23-Oct-08 - 07:03 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Loving Hannah - Bawley Boat?
Subject: RE: Origins: Loving Hannah - Bawley Boat?
Curious:
The song isn't in Jean's 'Appalachian Songs' and her version printed in Lomax's FS of North America doesn't have this verse.
Curiouser:
The song's not that scarce, particularly in Ireland. Sam Henry published 2 versions.
Curiouser and curiouser:
This type of lyric piece describing parting is particularly prone to attracting floaters or commonplaces which is what has happened here.
Other American versions which have similar verses are:

I wish I was in some sea-port,
Or in some sea-port town;
I set my foot on sea board
And sail this ocean round.   Mellinger Henry, FS from the S Highlands.

I wish I was in London
Or some other seaport town
I'd set myself on a steamship
And sail the ocean round.   Songs from Sing Out 11.

The only thing this side that comes near is the traveller verse

I wish I was in old Ireland
Lyin' on the grass,
With a prayer-book upon my lap
And upon my breast a cross.

Though I haven't seen a broadside version yet I'd put money on the origin being a Belfast broadside.

As for 'barley' I'd try looking for a Northern Irish or American origin. 'Bully boat' is a common expression. 'Bally' is a common Irish place name prefix, etc.