Mudcat Café message #3858557 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161981   Message #3858557
Posted By: Richie
02-Jun-17 - 05:38 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV

TY Steve for sending this text today of a old version from Stuart M. Frank's "Jolly Sailors Bold" (2010) pp.153-155. Ironically, the title refers to my last post.

The Alexander was a Whaling ship out of Nantucket, Massachusetts owned by Christopher Mitchell & Co. The Captain was Samuel Bunker and the first mate was John P. Morris. Text from the Log dated July 17, 1824 to May 8, 1825. This Log of the Alexander is written in fairly legible long hand and is 188 pages long. The Alexander arrived back in port in 1827 with 2844 barrels sperm whale oil. One report states: "Captain Samuel Bunker, in the Alexander, in 1824, took fourteen whales from a school of sperm in one day, and saved them all."

A. "MURMERING SIDE." As written by Samuel Bunker, Captain, ship Alexander of Nantucket, 1824-27. [Original spelling kept, must be read phonetically.]

1. Down by one mumering river side
Where purling streams do gently glide
I herd a fair maid making her moarn
How can I live and my true love gone.

2. It was erley erley all in the spring
He went on board for to serve his king
The rageing seas and the winds blue high
Which parted me and my sailor boy

3. If there be thurtey all in a roe
My love he bairs the gre[a]test show
The greatest show amongst them all
I'l have my sailor or none at all

4. She built herself a little boat
That on the ocean she might float
To view all ships as they pass by
Till I find out my young sailor boy

5. She had not sailed long on the deep
Five sail of frenchman she cha[n]ced to meat
Come tell to me all ye jovi[a]l crew
Whether my love william is on board of you

6. No no fair maiden he is not here
For he is drownded poor soul I fear
We pas[s]ed yon green Islands as we passed by
lltwas there we lost our young sailor boy

7. She wrung her hands and she tore her hair
Just like some woman in great dispair
Her boat against the rocks she run
How can I live and my sailor gone

8. O this fair maid in fashon run
With pen and paper she wrote a song
At every letter she dropped atear
At every line she cried O my dear

9. O this fair maid on a sick bed fell
And for a doctor loudly did call
My pain is great and I cannot live
And she descended unto her grave.


This traditional version written by Captain Bunker in his ship's Log between 1824-1825 has a variation of the first stanza of C, the old English broadside Sailor Boy, then uses stanza 1 of A (Goggins 1770), the Irish version which seems to have been formed from an older unknown variant of C. The "murmuring side" corresponds to the older versions found in the US of Oikotype C. This is the oldest US extant version and the second oldest extant version to Patrick Kennedy's Wexford version dated c. 1817. Kennedy's version however probably was reworked in 1856.