Mudcat Café message #3857954 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161981   Message #3857954
Posted By: Richie
30-May-17 - 05:38 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Here's my new Ca, "The Sailor Boy," from "Merry Songs," No. 15, printed by J. Evans, London, c1810.

15. The Sailor Boy

1. Down by a christal river side,
Where silver streams did sweetly glide,
I heard a fair maiden making her moan,
How can I live now my Jemmy's gone.

2. Go fetch me some little boat
That on the ocean I may float,
Thro' the French ships as they pass by
Enquiring for my sailor boy.

3. She had not sailed long on the deep
Before five sail of the French ships she did meet,
Come tell me ye jovial ship's crew,
If my true love sails along with you.

4. O no fair lady he is not here,
For he is drown'd I greatly fear,
For on yonder green island as I past by
There we did lose your poor sailor boy.

5. She wrung her hands and tore her hair
Just like a woman in despair,
Her boat against the rocks she run,
O I ne'er can live now my Jemmy's gone.

6. So come ye maids who dress in black,
That for a sailor boy you do lack,
With a black topmast and sails so wide,
Which parted me and my sailor boy.

7. Down by the silent shady grove,
There will I mourn for my true love,
And tell the small birds all my grief,
For they alone afford some relief.

This text is almost the same as the Catnatch (1813) and Pitts (1819) but it is slightly older. This oikotype seems to be the oldest and it corresponds to a few lines of text from John Gay's 1720 "Black Eyed Susan." Steve Gardham already mentioned the version-- I just came across it yesterday.