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Origins: William Taylor

DigiTrad:
BILLY TAYLOR


Related threads:
Lyr Req: William Taylor (24)
Lyr Req: William Taylor (from Robin Williamson) (11)


GUEST,FitzGerald 05 Oct 18 - 01:36 PM
Bat Goddess 27 Feb 18 - 04:40 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Feb 18 - 02:20 PM
r.padgett 27 Feb 18 - 12:04 PM
Acorn4 27 Feb 18 - 08:13 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 18 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Eileen 26 Feb 18 - 07:48 PM
Lighter 20 Mar 13 - 05:19 PM
Lighter 20 Mar 13 - 05:03 PM
Crane Driver 20 Mar 13 - 04:13 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM
Crane Driver 20 Mar 13 - 08:57 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Mar 13 - 10:44 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Mar 13 - 10:19 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Mar 13 - 09:40 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Mar 13 - 08:28 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 10 - 07:17 PM
Lighter 09 Nov 10 - 07:18 PM
Goose Gander 09 Nov 10 - 06:28 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM
Goose Gander 09 Nov 10 - 05:37 PM
Lighter 09 Nov 10 - 03:44 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Nov 10 - 03:16 PM
Goose Gander 08 Nov 10 - 06:41 PM
Lighter 08 Nov 10 - 04:55 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Nov 10 - 04:27 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Nov 10 - 03:07 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 06:09 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 04:56 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 03:40 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 03:37 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 03:19 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Nov 10 - 02:57 PM
Lighter 06 Nov 10 - 07:40 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Nov 10 - 05:16 PM
Goose Gander 06 Nov 10 - 12:47 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 10 - 06:49 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 10 - 06:16 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 10 - 09:30 AM
Goose Gander 04 Nov 10 - 12:24 AM
Les from Hull 03 Nov 10 - 08:31 PM
Lighter 03 Nov 10 - 08:00 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Nov 10 - 06:32 PM
Joe Offer 03 Nov 10 - 03:54 PM
Goose Gander 03 Nov 10 - 03:32 PM
Stewie 07 Aug 01 - 08:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM
Fiolar 07 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM
IanC 07 Aug 01 - 12:46 PM
Fiolar 07 Aug 01 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: GUEST,FitzGerald
Date: 05 Oct 18 - 01:36 PM

Why do some versions throw poor FitzGerald to the ladies wrath instead of a man of "Liechfeild"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 04:40 PM

Yet another version was recorded by Frankie Armstrong back in 1973 on the LP "...Out of Love, Hope, and Suffering" (which is not available on CD).

There also appears to be a YouTube video of Frankie Armstrong singing this on a more recent recording, "Encouragement". Since I can't watch YouTube on this computer, I haven't yet checked to see if it's the same version as on the 1973 LP.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 02:20 PM

Brilliant, Acorn. Love it!


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 12:04 PM

I learned William Taylor from Unto Brigg Fair many years ago when the LP first came out and still sing it

The main point is that the song was and in my view should be sung in the Lincolnshire dialect (at least this version) for greater authenticity ~ yes recorded by Percy Grainger on wax cylinder originally (Joseph Taylor)

I have heard and find Billy Taylor version is a better joiner in and moves along quite quickly

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Acorn4
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 08:13 AM

William Taylor(the True Story)


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 11:23 PM

I'm new! Have patience :) here's the actual link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEZ0Y7APyK0&t=17s


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: GUEST,Eileen
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 07:48 PM

Another great cover of this song, from MacMurrough’s second album
released 1974 ~ https://youtu.be/vEZ0Y7APyK0


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 05:19 PM

The "Thunder, bomb" was a bomb-vessel used at the Siege of Copenhagen in 1807. Sailing vessels were commonly identified by rig or function along with their name.

A bomb-vessel(or "bomb-ketch") was a small naval craft equipped with bomb-throwing mortars. Two or more took part in the naval attack on Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. They were the source of the "bombs bursting in air" noted in "The Star-Spangled Banner."


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 05:03 PM

From Thomas Sheridan's "Course of Lectures on Elocution" (1762), p. 33:

"They call veal weal, vinegar winegar. On the other they call winter vinter, well vell. Though the converting of the w into a v is not so common as the changing of the v in to a w."

Dickens wasn't the only writer to exploit this feature. It certainly existed at one time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Crane Driver
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 04:13 PM

Good point, Mike, but doesn't necessarily prove the book got it wrong.

Sam Weller is from Pickwick Papers, Dickens' first published foray into fiction writing. It was originally issued as a magazine serial, and apparently, was doing badly at first, until Weller turned up as a 'comic cockney' - 'mockney' character. The transposition of 'v' and 'w' was the comic idea of the cockney, whether it occurred in reality or not. I don't think Dickens was trying to be realistic in Pickwick, he was trying to be funny.

Anyway, I became interested in Charles Rice because he has a place in my family tree. He's not a direct ancestor, but after his wife died in the mid 1850s, he moved in with my (recently widowed) great-great grandmother Elizabeth McKay until his death in 1876. When my great grandfather William McKay married in 1867, Charles Rice was a witness and signed the marriage certificate. It's strange to find that he was a semi-pro pub singer.

Non-genetic inheritance is an interesting concept.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM

Not uncommon according to Dickens, who in his journalistic and court-reporting days would have had his finger much on the London pulse. Think of counsel, Sam Weller, the judge, and Old Weller:
...
"Ven you're a married man, Samivel, you'll understand a good many things as you don't understand now; but vether it's worth goin' through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said ven he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o' taste."
...

"Samivell Veller."

"Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W'?" inquired the judge.
"That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my Lord," replied Sam.

"Spell it with a wee, melud, spell it with a wee."

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Crane Driver
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 08:57 AM

I've recently been reading a book entitled "Tavern Singing in Victorian London - the Diaries of Charles Rice for 1840 and 1850". (Edited by Laurence Senelick, published by The Society for Theatre Research, 1997 - ISBN 0 854 30 0597)

Charles Rice was a messenger at the British Museum in London from 1837 to 1876. He added to his income by singing comic songs in the taverns around Soho, for a few shillings a night plus drinks. His diaries give an insight into this life, including the other singers and acts he shared the boards with, and the songs they sang, some of which we would recognise as variants of 'folk songs', or at least broadside ballads. At the back, he gives his words for a few of his songs, one of which is 'Billy Taylor', obviously derived from the broadside quoted above:

"Billy Taylor"
Author Unknown. Air "George Barnwell."

1
Billy Taylor was a gay young fellow, werry full of mirth & werry full of glee;
And his mind he did disciver to a damsel fair and free!

2
Four & twenty gay young fellows, all dress'd out in fine array;
Went & press'd poor Billy Taylor, what they sent away to sea!

3
Soon his true love follow'd arter, under the name of Richard Carr;
And her lilywhite hands she bedaub'd all over, with that nasty pitch & tar.

4
Now, behold the werry first Engagement, boldly she fit in amongst the rest;
Till a gale of wind blow'd open her waistcoat, & discivered, vy all her lilly-white breast!

5
When that the Captain he came for to hear on't, says he vhat vind has blown you here;
Says she I've come for to seek my true love, vhat you press'd & I love so dear!

6
If you've come for to seek your true love, tell unto me his name I pray;
Says she his name is Billy Taylor what you send so far away!

7
If that his name its Billy Taylor, he's werry cruel & severe;
And if you rise up in the morning early, you'll find him along with his Lady gay!

8
Then she got up, in the morning early, quite early by the break of day;
And there she spi'ed bold Billy Taylor, & he vos valking along with his Lady gay!

9
Then she call'd out for swords & pistols, vhich vas brought at her command;
And there she shot poor Billy Taylor with his sweetheart in his arms!

10
When that the Captain he came for to hear it, he werry much applauded her for what she had done;
And he made her his first Lieutenant, on board of his ship the Thunderbun!

"Correct as sung by me, August 1841 Chas: Rice"

According to the introduction, "the transposition of v and w was uncommon in London speech except in comic songs at the 'free and easies,' where it was accepted as the hall-mark of humour."

Andrew


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FEMALE LIEUTENANT (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 10:44 PM

From the Bodleian broadside collection, Firth c.12(232):


THE FEMALE LIEUTENANT,
OR, FAITHLESS LOVER REWARDED.

William was a youthful lover.
William loved a lady fair.
Bells did ring and birds did sing,
As to the church they did repair.

Then came twenty brisk young sailors,
Dressed in grand and rich array.
Instead of William being married,
Pressed he was and sent away.

Soon he true love followed after,
By the name of William Carr.
Her soft hands and milk-white fingers
All were smeared with pitch and tar.

Now behold the first engagement.
Behold she fought amongst the rest.
Her jacket open, void of danger,
All exposed her snow-white breast.

When the captain came to ….
He...what wind has...

… [most of this verse is illegible.]

If that you come to find your true love,
Tell to me his name, I pray?
Brave sir, they call him William Taylor.
Him you pressed and forced away.

If William Taylor is your true love,
He is both cruel and severe,
For rise up early in the morning,
You shall see him and his lady fair.

For he some days ago was wedded,
And lives upon the Isle of Man,
And with his beauteous bride has bedded,
A truth that none deny it can.

Then she rose early in the morning,
Early by the break of day.
There she saw sweet William Taylor,
Walking with his lady gay.

She called quickly for a pistol.
It was brought at her command.
Strait she shot sweet William Taylor
With the same soon out of hand.

When the captain saw the wonder
Which the maiden fair had done,
He instantly made her lieutenant,
Of the gallant Thunder Bomb.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BILLY TAYLOR (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 10:19 PM

From the Bodleian broadside collection, Harding B 11(292):


BILLY TAYLOR

Billy Taylor was a gay young feller,
Very full of mirth and very full of glee,
And his mind he did diskiver
Unto a damsel fair and free.
Tiddy, iddy, iddy, ol, tol, tido.

Four-and-twenty stout young fellers
(Clad they were in blue array.)
Came and pressed young Billy Taylor,
And forthvith sent him to sea.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

Soon his true-love followed arter
Under the name of Richard Carr,
And her lily-white hands she daubed all over
With the nasty pitch and tar.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

Vhen they came to the first engagement,
Bold she fought among the rest,
Until a cannon-ball did cut her jacket open
And diskivered her lily-white breast.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

Vhen the captain comed for to hear on't,
Says he—vhat vind has blown you here?
Says she—I come for to seek for my true-love,
Whom you pressed, and I love so dear.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

If you come for to seek for your true-love,
Tell unto me his name, I pray—
His name, kind sir, is Billy Taylor,
Whom you pressed and sent to sea.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

If his name is Billy Taylor,
He is both cruel and severe;
For, rise up early in the morning,
And you'll see him with a lady fair.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

With that, she rose up in the morning,
Early, by the break of day,
And she met her Billy Taylor
Valking vith a lady gay.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

Forthvith she called for sword and pistol,
Vhich did come at her command;
And she shot her Billy Taylor,
Vith his fair one in his hand.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.

Vhen the captain comed for to hear on't,
He very much applauded her for what she had done;
And quickly made her the first lieutenant
Of the gallant—Thunder Bomb.
Tiddy, iddy, &c.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD WILLIAM TAYLOR (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 09:40 PM

From the Bodleian broadside collection, Firth c.12(233):


BOLD WILLIAM TAYLOR

I'll sing you a song about two lovers
Who from Lichfield town did come.
The young man's name was William Taylor.
The maiden's name was Sarah Dunn.

Now for a sailor William enlisted.
Now for a sailor William's gone.
He's gone and left his charming Sally
All alone to make me mourn.

She dressed herself in man's apparel.
Man's apparel she put on,
And for to seek her own true lover,
For to find him she is gone.

One day as she was exercising,
Exercising among the rest,
A silver locket flew from her jacket
And exposed her milk-white breast.

O then the captain stepped up to her,
And asked her what brought her there.
All for to seek my own true lover,
For he has proved to me severe.

If you are come to find your lover
You must tell to me his name.
His name it is bold William Taylor,
And from Lichfield town he came.

If your lover's name is William Taylor,
He has proved to you severe.
He is married to a rich lady.
He was married the other year.

If you will rise early in the morning,
In the morning by the break of day,
There you will see bold William Taylor,
Walking with his lady gay.

Then she called for a brace of pistols.
A brace of pistols I command.
Then she shot bold William Taylor
With his bride at his right hand.

O then the captain was well pleased,
Well pleased with what she'd done,
And soon she became a bold commander
On board the ship with all the men.

Then the captain loved her dearly,
Loved her dearly as his life,
Then it was three days after,
Sarah became the captain's wife.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILLIAM TAYLOR (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 08:28 PM

From the Bodleian broadside collection, Harding B 25(2069):


WILLIAM TAYLOR

William was a youthful lover,
Full of wit and sprightly air,
And his mind he did discover
To a virtuous lady fair.
The day was appointed to be married.
He was dressed in scarlet gay.
In place of William being married,
Straightly he was sent away.

When his love she came to hear it,
She said she'd go, whate'er betide,
With her musket o'er her shoulder,
Sword and pistol by her side.
She dressed herself in man's attire
Under the name of Richard Carr,
With her fingers long and slender
All besmeared with pitch and tar.

On the deck there was a skirmish.
She was one amongst the rest.
Off her jacket flew a button,
Then appeared her snow-white breast.
O lady, lady, said the captain,
What misfortune brought you here?
I'm on the search of my true lover
Whom you pressed the other year.

O then, lady, says the captain,
Tell to me your lover's name.
William Taylor I do call him
Whom you pressed in the Isle of Main(?).
If William Taylor is your true lover,
His dwelling's on the Isle of Man.
If you rise early tomorrow morning,
You will see him walking on the strand(?).

She arose early in the morning,
Early by the break of day.
There she espied her William Taylor
Walking with his lady gay.
She called for a sword and a pistol,
Sword and pistol at command.
There she shot her William Taylor,
And his lady at his right hand.

The captain he did recommend her
For the deed that she had done,
And he has made her chief commander
Over the Barcelonian.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 07:17 PM

GG,
I think there's plenty of evidence in the versions of the song above, and indeed other songs.

Jonathan,
I'm sure you're right, but what you say is more about the performance angle.

Looking at it from the creation/recreation angle it has more to do with conscious/unconscious alteration, and fashion and economics feature more than most people realise.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 07:18 PM

I don;t remember if I said this on another thread. Maybe the biggest difference between a "traditional singer" and a commercial entertainer is that the traditional singer is mainly interested in expressing himself, but the entertainer is mainly interested in giving strangers what he thinks they want to hear.

Individual cases of "rewriting" reflect that distinction.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 06:28 PM

Stumbling forward, I would argue the general point that conscious rewriting is also often part of the oral tradition and folk process. From North America, Hobart Smith, Nimrod Workman and Roscoe Holcomb all took considerable liberties with traditional material. I would be very surprised if English singers never did the same.

Of course, I can't provide any evidence for the case of William Taylor.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM

Murky territory indeed, but in my experience the shortening down process is usually down to commercial enterprise. Oral tradition usually alters syntax and minor bits and pieces. More drastic alterations are due to conscious rewriting. Both processes are responsible for things like changing personnel and relocating.

If commercial enterprise is part of the folk process then fair enough. I haven't seen much debate on that one though. I'm with Gander, a very murky area!


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 05:37 PM

Now we enter murky territory . . . so here goes: knowing that broadside writers had an ear to the ground for what people were singing in pubs, etc., who's to say that the shortened (vastly improved) version was not itself derived from the singing of 'the folk'?


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 03:44 PM

Yeah, but hacks and printers are part of the folk process.

Though not part of oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 03:16 PM

If by 'the folk process' you mean the oral tradition the eradication of the extraneous material is down to printers' hacks and theatrical writers in this case, not oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 06:41 PM

More about William Taylor from A Folk Song A Day

Thanks Steve for all those lyrics.

And thank gawd for the folk process!


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for posting those lyrics, Steve. The "folk process" did its work on this one.

I will post the 18th C. "Calton Weaver" forebear tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 04:27 PM

Googling Sarah Bates on the Internet Archive gives us an operating date of 1719-20. She was almost certainly the widow of Charles Bates who had been printing at that address since c1690.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 03:07 PM

PART III. To the same Tune          (Garnet)

Now the Captain did require,       Then the Captain did enquire,
them to tell him were she had lain, Where before that she ......
One that had often lain by her,    .....often had ........
freely answer'd him again,         
Ever since they first came hither, ....since she first.......
she was in my Hammock laid,         She has in...............
Though we often slept together,    Tho' we've often........
I ne'er knew she was maid.          ..............was a Maid.

(page 8)
Being mov'd with grief and pity,
when her pearly Tears did see,      When he her............
Tell me Damosel fair and pretty,    ....Damsel.........
what thy Lovers Name may be,
Sir, his Name was William Taylor,   Sir his Name is W. Taylor,
born not far from Mile-End-Green,   ..............from Island Green
Never was he bred a Sailor         
but was prest through perfect spleen ......pressed thro.......

As we to the Church was going,      ....................were going,
Marriage Rites to celebrate,
My dear Creature little knowing,   
that for him they lay in wait.      ...................laid......
Sir, I thou't they would have kill'd him, .....thought........
by their dragging him away,         by the dragging..........
My sad Eyes they ne'er beheld him, ......Eyes has ne'er.......
since that most unhappy Day,      

then he sent forth and enquir'd    Then they made a full Enquiry.
of the vessels outward bound,       ......Vessel...............
What was much to be admir'd         Which was more to ..........
soon her loyal love he found,       ..............Love was found.
With a Noble brave Commander       He was a noble brave Commander,
his beloved faithful friend,       His beloved faithfull Friend,
Who her love did soon surender,    And their heart did soon surrender
thus did all her sorrows end.       Which did all their sorrows end.

Being freed he wou'd not stay them, Being free he would not stay then,
but his Pleasure did commend       But their honour did commend,
In which soon he did convey them,   And he quickly did ..........
to fair London out of hand,         
Nay and such was his Affection,    And this was also his .......
he would see them Marry'd too      
Oh this was a noble Action,         Oh! ...................
such good men there is but few,   
       FINIS.

The Garnet copy details:-
The Garland original is in Sheffield City Library Acc No. 2296 MP 915

The faithful Lovers GARLAND
Composed of Two New Songs

I The Faithful Lover.
2 The unfortunate Wedding.
17th century woodcut of man of war under sail

Sheffield: Printed by John Garnet. at the Castle-green-head, near the Irish-cross. 1748

Page 2
A New SONG,
call'd the Faithful Lover.
20 stanzas on 7 pages.
Page 8 has
The Unfortunate Wedding, 9 stanzas which is a cuckoldry ballad on the 'Nothing at all' theme. On their wedding night the tall girl finds her short husband has 'nothing at all' so she asks her mother's advice and she advises her to cuckold him which she does with a vengeance. Each stanza ends in ...........nothing at all'.


A point of note is that in the earlier version WT is a 'friend' of the commander whereas by 1748 he had become the Commander himself.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 06:09 PM

PART II.

How Elizabeth, in Men's Aparel, enter'd
her self on board a Ship of her own Name.

       To the same Tune.

OH! this said inhumane Action,    (This stanza not in Garnet)
caused many weeping Eyes
The young maid was in Distraction,
so was her dear Friends likewise,
All was in a Consternation,
and was much dissatisfy'd.
That they forc'd him from the Nation,
and his fair elected bride.

The young damosel heavy hearted,    This young.......
put her self in Man's array,       Drest herself......
Since her love and she was parted, ......and her were parted,
bath'd in Tears without delay,
(page 6)      
She resolv'd to follow after,       She resolves.....
try her fortune on the main         And try.......
And would feed on bread and water,
'till she see his face again,       Till she saw his......

Life and fortune would she venture ........she would venture,
to appease her heavy Wrong          To escape her heavy rongs,
then on board she soon did enter,   Where on .........
by the Name of Richard Strong,
With a pleasant look she smiled,
when into the ship she came,
the which then was truely stiled,   Which was truly then assiled,
the Elizabeth by Name.

For the sake of her dear Willy      ..................dear Billy
She resolves to travel far.         ................travel saa,(sic)
Her Hands once like the fair Lilly With her Hands like .....Lily,
are besmear'd with Pitch and tar.   All besmear'd...............
All the Charms of youth and beauty, Oh! the .................
they are unregarded quite,
While she does perform the Duty,    Soon she .................
of a Sailor Day and Night,

There was few more stout and bolder .................or bolder
then this Damosel in disguise,      ..............damsel......
with her Musket on her Shoulder,   
Sword, or Bayonet likewise,         Sword and Byonet be her side,
On the watch she was expected,      ...............was suspected,
where she manfully did stand,       When she.............
She her duty ne'er neglected,       And her................
but was ever at command.            She was always at Command.

Furling sails, an Anchors weighing, Rowling Seas and Anchors heaving,
without her was seldom done,      
In her there was no delaying,       ....................no denial,
to the Top-mast Head she run,       To the Tom-mast end she'd run,
(page 7)
When the surly Wids was blowing    ......cruel Winds were blowing,
To assist them she was there,
All the Sailors little knowing,
That she was a Maiden fair,         

For a Season she remained          Whole Seasons she ........
undiscover'd by the Crew.
'Till at length the Steward feigned. Till the Steward he perceived,
she was of a dirty hue             That she was of lovely view,
Then he made a fearful Racket,      Where they made a fearfull r...
at her Shirt above the rest,       At her Waist above.........
He unbutton'd straight her Jacket, They.......................
where appeard her snowy breast      Where appear'd..........

With a further confirmation.       Without further Consternation,
she was to the Captain brought,    ...............Capt, .....
Where with tears of Lamentation,    Bath'd in tears of lamentation,
she his honour's Pardon sought,    His disionour'd Pardon sought'
Making there a full Confession,   
how the Fates had prov'd unkind,
Leaving all to his Discretion,   
to appease her Love-sick Mind.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 04:56 PM

Page 2
The Female Sailor's Garland
_____________________________

       Part, I

The passionate Love between William Taylor             Garnet
and fair Elizabeth, &c.             Tune
What is greater Joy and pleasure.

William was a faithful Lover,
full of life and youthful Air,
When his mind he did discover.
to that pleasant charming Fair.          To a charming Beauty fair
Londons beauty Lovers Glory,          Lover's Beauty, London's Glory
Sweet Elizabeth by Name,               Fair E...
Yet I bring as sad a Story,          Here I'll tell as ......
as to lovers ever came.               As to true Lovers.......

(Bates copy has no stanza divisions but as Garnet has I will split into stanzas as given by Garnet)

Now while he this Damosel Courted,    .......Damsel....
with a heart of Love and Joy,
Of a truth it is reported,             As a Truth.....
she continu'd something coy,         .... continued....
He could seldom be admitted,          He could never be....
to her pleasant Company,             In her....
Ne'er was Lover more unpity'd.       Never was Lover more unpitied
for she scorned to comply,

Many Arguments he used,             .................she used,
this was one among the rest,
If I'm utterly refused:             Billy let me be excused,
I shall be with grief opprest,       I'll not be with Grief oppress'd
Therefore be not coy nor cruel,
to the man that do's adore          To the Man I adore
The sweet Beauty of my Jewel,      
thee I'll love for evermore          You I love for ever more.

Here's my hand thou may'st believe me, ...........may believe me,
'tis a most unfeigned truth,         It is an unvaled Truth,
As a Loyal Love receive me,          ...............receives me,
bless me with thy blooming Youth,
Place me highest in thy Favour,      (Here Garnet repeats second half
promise me the charming bliss,         of stanza 3)
then a Ring of Gold he gave her
with a soft and melting kiss,

But his token she refused             (Stanzas 5-8 not in Garnet)
and with modest blushes said,
William, let me be excused,
I am free to live a Maid,
'till the bloody Wars are ended,
which doe's Lovers seperate,(sic)
At my Words be not offended,
I would live in happy State.

From all tumults and distraction:
I desire to be free,
But should I place my Affections,
ah! what would become of me.
If to Sea thou should'st be taken,
or sent to the bloody field
I should think my self forsaken,
of all Joys the World can yield,

For the bloody Field or Ocean,
I was never qualify'd,
Love I am at no promotion
but to make of thee my Bride,
(Page 3)
Whom I fancy out of measure,
grant me love before we part,
Give me beauty Love and pleasure,
I'll surrender Hand and Heart,

I have had the Choice of many
both of high and low degree,
Yet I ne'er could fancy any,
'till thy youthful charms I see,
Which has kindled a soft fire,
in the Closet of my breast,
And e'er long I shall expire
if with she I am not blest

take this Diamond as a Token,
of my love and loyalty,
Or my heart will soon be broken,
by your cruel Tyranny,                Thro' your cruel Tyrany,
At these words the Maid relented,
her hard heart was mollify'd,         ..............mollified,
Lovingly she then consented,
to be made his lawful bride          ............his loving Bride.

At his Hands with melting Kisses,
she receiv'd the Diamond Ring,
As a token of those Blisses,         ...............those Blessings,
which the Marriage State would bring, What a marriage..........
As in love they were united,         So when in Love...........
then without the least delay,       They without..........
Friends and parents were invited,
to attend the happy Day.               .......that happy Day.

As they to the Church was going,      .........to Church were going,
in their finest Robes array'd    Marriage Rites to celebrate,
With their Friends all little knowing   Her dear Friends lit.
that a spiteful plot was laid,   That for him they laid wait,
(page 4)
Fourteen Sailors for him tarry'd, .................tarried,
who no pity would afford,       And no.........
In the stead of being marry'd   But instead of being Married,
prest he was and sent on board, Pressed..........sent abroad.

I will let you know the Reason, Now I'll quickly tell the..
why they did so cruel prove,    How they..............
Sam the Sailor for a Season:    Sam, the .........
he had courted her for love,   Courted her to be his Love,
But she heeded not his Wooing, Yet she did not mind his ....
now since Will. had gain'd success, Since that Will had....
He resolved on their ruin,   She resolv'd to run the Ruin,
envying o(') their happiness.   And deny their Happiness.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 03:40 PM

Pt 3 synopsis typo 'neighbouring' is spelt correctly.
Of course most of the ss are long ss.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 03:37 PM

Douce copy is in the form of an 8-page chapbook. I don't remember seeing any 17thc ballads in this format so the 1717-20 date might then be correct.

Page 1
The Female Sailor's Garland.
In Three PARTS.

1, The passionate Love between William
Taylor and fair Elizabeth whose Love
he having gain'd & preparing for Mar-
riage, he was maliciously press'd from
his Friends and Bride as they were going
to perform the Marriage Rites.

2, How Elizabeth put her selfin Man's
apparel, and enter'd her self on board a
Ship of her own Name, where she per-
form'd Seamen's Labour to a Miracle;
with an Account how at last she was
discover'd.

3, How the Noble Captain, thro' Pity
of their Misfortunes, sent forth, & en-
quir'd of the neoighbouring Ships, till he
found her Love, whom he got released,
With an Account, How he brought them
to London, where he see them marry'd
to their great Joy and Satisfaction
____________________________________
    Licensed according to Order
_____________________________________
Printed for S Bates at the Sun and Bible in
                Pye-corner,


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 03:19 PM

Okay, my neg photocopy of the Bates version is rather poor so I may have the odd word missing but I can check it with my Garnet copy in most cases as their texts are pretty close. I'll also add any differences to the Garnet copy as I go along.

I presume the Bates copy came ultimately from the Douce Collection at Bodl but I foolishly neglected to write my source down. However the ref is Douce PP 183. I have written on my copy the dates 1717-20 but it was printed by S Bates which is Sarah Bates and Chappell gives her printing at this address in 1685. He lists the dates and addresses for the Bates family of printers and the dates he gives range from 1641 to 1702. The only members of the family with the 'Sun and Bible' address were Sarah and Charles, presumably the next generation from Thomas. Sarah could be Charles's wife or sister. Ebsworth had a better grasp on dates. I'll have a look at some of the later Roxburghe volumes to see if she crops up with a more accurate date, and report back. Instalment 1 coming up. The Bates copy is in 3 parts so I might as well use these divisions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 02:57 PM

Jonathan,
I wasn't questioning the authenticity of Les's Thunder-Bomb, just remarking that it doesn't appear in earlier versions. (I wouldn't question any of Les's maritime assertions. Apart from anything else he's a good mate of mine.)

Glascock's very interesting statement seems to back up what I said earlier about the new ending of the shooting of her lover and appointment as First Lieutenant on the Thunder-Bomb. We even have what looks like the author for the burlesque, Tom Sheridan, excellent!
Any info on Sheridan?

Okay, fair swap, but be prepared to be bored to death! I'll post it in instalments. I don't trust these computery things.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 07:40 PM

Steve, while "Thunder-Bomb" sounds like a perfect Gilbert & Sullivan warship, Les fron Hull is entirely correct about real bomb-vessels called "Thunder."

One, commanded by Capt. George Cocks, took part in the siege of Copenhagen in 1807. See, e.g., Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson: With Notes, Vol. VI (London: Henry Colburn, 1846), p. 113. Admiral Nelson refers to the vessel as both "the Bomb-Vessel Thunder" and "the Thunder-Bomb," in the one dispatch in 1804.

And another reference to the ballad, from [W. N. Glascock] Naval Sketch-Book (London: For the Author, 1826) I , p.xiii:

"The late Tom Sheridan had a similarly brilliant conception in the comic song called 'Billy Taylor.' But Sheridan had imbibed more theatrical tact from his father; and by giving it an air of romance, completed the absurdity.--'Billy Taylor's' sweetheart is made lieutenant* of the 'Thunder-Bomb.' . . .

"*'When her captain come to diskiver
The glorious action what she'd done,
Then he made her first leaftenant [sic]
Of the gallant Thunder-Bomb.'"

If you can post the earliest version, I'll try to dig up that 18th C. "Calton Weaver" that misfired a few months back.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 05:16 PM

Yes, like Such's copy, most of the 19thc printings commencing 'I'll sing you a song about two lovers' have the same 11 stanzas as the Such copy going back to Pitts and Catnach but the 'Billy Taylor' burlesque commencing 'Billy Taylor was a brisk/gay young fellow' was printed in London at least as early as 1802 and was still popular in the 1850s being sung by Sam Cowell. Most versions of this on broadsides have 10 stanzas but some, like Cowell's have 11 stanzas and a typical burlesque refrain of 'tol de rol etc.'. Slightly earlier versions with various titles and 11 stanzas commence 'William was a youthful lover'.
Only the 2 early 18th century versions have more than 11 stanzas to the best of my knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 12:47 AM

Another broadside from the Bodleian Library . . .

Bold William Taylor

Printed by Such, H. (London)
Between 1863 and 1885


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 06:49 PM

These 2 early versions are pretty much the same. In both the girl is called Elizabeth and by wonderful coincidence the ship she enters under the name 'Richard Strong' is also called 'The Elizabeth'. WT was born not far from 'Mile End Green' in the earlier copy, but this has become 'Island Green' in the 1748 Sheffield copy. In both when she is discovered (literally) and tells her story the captain finds WT who has become a Commander and he takes them both to London and sees them married.

It's not beyond the realms of possibility that it is based on a true story.

No shootings and no Thunder bombs I'm afraid. Off the top of my head I have a sneaky feeling these were added in when the ballad was burlesqued, as were many popular 18thc street ballads.

I'll type the lot out if you like but most of it is tedious doggerel quite rightly edited out by the later printers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 06:16 PM

Jonathan,
The Alnwick version has only got 44 lines. The Bates printing c1712-20 has got 25 double stanzas, title 'The Female Sailor's Garland' (Douce 183) and the Garnett of Sheffield version (1748) has 20 double stanzas, title 'A new Song Call'd The Faithful Lover.'

I'll check them both out to see if they both still have the same proper nouns in them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 09:30 AM

This song is alluded to in Chapter XVIII of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Sylvia's Lovers (1863). When Charles Kinraid is taken by the press gang when on the way to rejoin his whaler at North Shields, he attempts to send a message via a bystanding friend to his beloved Sylvia Robson [her of the book's title]. The leader of the gang facetiously speculates that he is "asking her to come for to serve on board ship along with he, like Billy Taylor's young woman".

The Oxford World's Classics edition of 1982, the only one I have come across with notes, misses this reference, although it contains an acknowledgment to staff at the Vaughan Williams Library at Cecil Sharp House. I rectified this omission with an essay in Oxford University Press's journal for such observations, Notes & Queries, for March 1999.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 12:24 AM

Here's a broadside from the Bodleian Library . . .

William Taylor

No date or publication information provided.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Les from Hull
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:31 PM

On the subject of 'Thunder Bomb', there have been quite a few vessels in the Royal Navy called Thunder, nearly all Bomb Vessels (which were usually named for volcanoes, or with names like Explosion or Terror). A vessel was often called by name followed by rating, such as Diana Frigate or Cruizer Sloop. They usually carried two large mortars (up to 13inch) and were used for shore bombardment. Bomb vessels were responsible for the 'bombs bursting in air' that them Americans are always going on about. And bomb vessels were selected (because of their stout construction) for 'Lord' Franklin's ill-fated expedition.

They were commanded by a Master and Commander, an Admiralty appointment so it is not permissable for a ship's captain to appoint anyone to the command of one of these vessels, especially if they were a known murderer and a woman.

On a more sensible note I've always preferred the last verse used in some versions:

So, come all young men from Wells and London
If 'twere served the same as she
It's very sad would be young women
Very scarce young men would be.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:00 PM

A full version is in "Four New Songs" (Alnwick, 1792). It stars "Billy Taylor," alias "Richard Carr."


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:32 PM

I have a copy of a very long garland version from mid 18thcentury. I haven't time to type it up just now, but I can check it for details like place names or ship names if anyone is interested. Those versions with a fol-de diddle/tol de rol chorus, I think if I remember correctly are derived from the burlesque version aka 'Billy Taylor' from the early 19thc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: William Taylor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 03:54 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:

    William Taylor [Laws N11]

    DESCRIPTION: Willie is (about to be married when he is) impressed. His love dresses like a man and seeks him. She is revealed as a woman. The captain tells her that William is about to marry another. She shoots him. The captain gives her a command or marries her
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1769 (Journal from the Nellie)
    KEYWORDS: homicide betrayal pressgang disguise cross-dressing sailor
    FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont) Britain(England,Scotland) Ireland
    REFERENCES (34 citations):
    Laws N11, "William Taylor" (Laws gives a broadside texts on pp. 93-94 of ABFBB)
    Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 308, "William Taylor" (1 text)
    OShaughnessy-Grainger 2, "Bold William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 7, "Bold William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    RoudBishop #75, "William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Musick-Larkin 1, "William Tailer" (1 text)
    Greig #101, p. 1, "Billy Taylor" (1 text)
    GreigDuncan1 169, "Billy Taylor" (6 texts, 3 tunes)
    Lyle-Crawfurd1 19, "Willie Taylor" (1 fragment)
    Belden, pp. 182-183, "William Taylor" (1 text)
    Randolph 67, "Willie Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    BrownII 106, "William Taylor" (1 text)
    BrownSchinhanIV 106, "William Taylor" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
    Moore-Southwest 74, "The False Lover" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Hubbard, #25, "Willie Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    SharpAp 61, "William Taylor" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
    Sharp-100E 71, "William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Reeves-Sharp 113, "William Taylor" (2 texts)
    Butterworth/Dawney, p. 45, "William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    SHenry H213, p. 334, "Willie Taylor (a)"; H757, pp. 334-335, "Willie Taylor (b)" (2 texts, 2 tunes, both composite)
    JHCox 120, "William Taylor" (1 text)
    Flanders/Brown, pp. 152-154, "William Taylor" (1 text)
    Ord, pp. 315-316, "Billy Taylor" (1 text)
    Greenleaf/Mansfield 22, "Willie Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Leach-Labrador 131, "Willy Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Karpeles-Newfoundland 49, "William Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Creighton-NovaScotia 32, "Billy Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Mackenzie 46, "Willie Taylor" (2 texts)
    Manny/Wilson 61, "Brisk Young Seaman (Willie Taylor)" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Fowke-Ontario 60, "Willie Taylor" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 94-95, "William Taylor" (1 text, with the ending lost, 1 tune)
    Huntington-Gam, pp. 153-158, "William Taylor"; "Bold WIlliam Taylor" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
    DT 443, BLLYTYLR*
    ADDITIONAL: C. H. Firth, _Publications of the Navy Records Society_ , 1907, p. 326, "The Female Lieutenant; or, Faithless Lover Rewarded"; p. 327, "Billy Taylor" (2 texts)

    Roud #158
    RECORDINGS:
    Joseph Taylor, "Bold William Taylor" (on Voice06)
    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Firth c.12(233), "Bold William Taylor ," H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Firth c.12(231), Firth c.12(234), Harding B 11(391), Harding B 11(3010)[some words illegible], "Bold William Taylor"; Harding B 25(2069), "William Taylor"; Firth c.12(232)[some words illegible], "The Female Lieutenant" or "Faithless Lover Rewarded"
    LOCSinging, as113210, "William Taylor," Leonard Deming (Boston), 19C

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Une Belle Recompense (A Beautiful Reward)" (plot)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    Bold William Taylor
    NOTES: Belden's version of this song ends with the girl drowning herself in grief. Laws mentions this only in connection with the Belden text, but it appears that Randolph's version also ends this way (it says only that the girl drowned, but Randolph marks a missing verse).I initially though this an Ozark attempt to moralize the song. But it occurs also in Brown. Cox has a similar, slightly less heavy-handed attempt; the girl is arrested but her fate not listed. Perhaps it's a general American urge to punish the "crime." - RBW
    She likewise drowns herself in all three of Sharp's texts. - PJS
    The "Bold William Taylor" broadsides end in marriage; "William Taylor" and "The Female Lieutenant" end in command.
    Reeves-Sharp is a composite of four texts: "this is a composite of all elements of Sharp's ms. versions, none of which is complete by itself." - BS
    C. H. Firth treats his "Billy Taylor" as "A Burlesque Ballad" of his other text (in which the sailor is called "William Taylor"); he describes it as Sung by Mr. Emery, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. Still, they are clearly the same song, and both end with the girl as "lieutenant of the Thunder Bomb". The mention of bomb ships (mortar vessels) strongly dates those versions, at least, to the eighteenth or early nineteenth century.
    Fowke-Ontario, p. 195, comments "No other heroine [of songs of women following their lovers to sea] turns her pistol on her sweetheart when he proves unfaithful. However, she has an older sister in the girl who stabbed 'Young Hunting' to death for deserting her."
    For notes on legitimate historical examples of women serving in the military in disguise, see the notes to "The Soldier Maid."
    It is probably just coincidence, but in 1804, shortly before the earliest attested date of this ballad, a book by Robert Kirby described the exploits of a disguised female sailor. Her real name, supposedly, was Mary Anne Talbot, and she took the name John Taylor -- and she served for several years at sea, aboard both merchant and naval vessels, and was wounded before finally claiming discharge on the grounds of her sex. (see David Cordingly, Women Sailors and Sailors' Women, Random House, 2001 [I use the undated, but later, paperback edition], pp. 76-77). Cordingly says that Talbot's tale is fictional, but that would not have been known at the time. Could Talbot's alternate name have supplied the name of the character in this song? Probably not, but it's an interesting coincidence. - RBW
    Musick-Larkin: After shooting William "Polly threw herself away All the crew they ran for to save her And alas it would not do. Willy got shot and Polly got drownded This put an end to thare strife" [sic]. - BS
    Last updated in version 4.2
    File: LN11

    Go to the Ballad Search form
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    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


    Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition. Any idea where they're from?

    BILLY TAYLOR

    Billy Taylor was a sailor
    Full of joy and beauty gay,
    'Stead of Billy gettin' married
    He was pressed and forced away. A*

    cho: Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
    Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

    But the bride soon followed after B*
    Under the name of Richard Carr;
    Snow white fingers long and slender
    A' covered over wi' pitch and tar.

    cho:

    She's buttoned on the sailor's clothing, B*
    Dressed herself up like a man;
    Awa' she sailed like a tarry sailor
    All aboard the Mary Anne.

    cho:

    A storm arose upon the ocean, A*
    She bein' there amang the rest;
    The wind blew off her silver buttons,
    There appeared her snow-white breast.

    cho:

    "Now," said the captain, "My fair lady, B*
    What misfortune brought you here?"
    "I'm in search o' my true lover
    Whom ye pressed the other year."

    cho:

    "Now," said the captain, "My fair lady, B*
    Come pray tell me what's his name?"
    "Some folks ca' him Billy Taylor
    but Willie Taylor is his name."

    cho:

    "If Billy Taylor's your true lover, A*
    He has proved to you untrue;
    He got married tae another
    Left ye here alone to rue."

    cho:

    "Rise ye early in the mornin', B*
    Early by the break o' day.
    There ye'll see young Billy Taylor
    Walkin' oot wi' his lady gay."

    cho:
    She rose early the next mornin' B*
    Early by the break o' day;
    There she saw young Billy Taylor
    Walkin' oot wi' his lady gay.

    cho:

    Gun and pistol she's commanded, A*
    Gun and pistol by her side;
    She has shot young Billy Taylor
    Walkin' oot wi' his new-made bride.

    cho:

    "Now," says the captain, "My fair lady B*
    Come pray tell me what you've done."
    I have shot young Billy Taylor
    Wi' a double-barreled gun."

    cho:
    When the captain did behold her B:
    And the deed that she has done,
    He has made her a chief commander
    Over a ship and a hundred men (or gun).

    cho:

    (Note: Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise recorded this for Folk
    Legacy; they use two variant melodies, Identified here as A* and
    B*)
    DT #443
    Laws N11
    @Scottish @love @murder @sailor @transvestite
    filename[ BLLYTYLR
    TUNE FILE: BLLYTYLR
    CLICK TO PLAY
    SOF


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Subject: ADD Version: Bold William Taylor
From: Goose Gander
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 03:32 PM

BOLD WILLIAM TAYLOR

I'll sing you a song about two lovers,
Who from Lichfield town they came.
The young man's name was William Taylor,
The maiden's name was Sarah Gray.

William Taylor he has 'listed,
For a soldier he has gone.
He has gone and left his own true lover
For to sigh and for to mourn.

Sally's parents did despise her,
Filled her heart with grief and woe;
And then at last she vowed and told them
For a soldier she would go.

She dressed herself in man's apparel,
Man's apparel she put on;
Then for to seek her own true lover
For to seek him she has gone.

One day as she were exercising,
Exercising one, two, three,
A silver chain hung down her waistcoat
And exposed her lily-white breast.

The sergeant-major stepped up to her,
Asking her what brought her there,
"I've come to search out my true lover
Who has proved to me so dear."

"If you've come to seek your own true lover,
I pray you tell to me his name."
"His name it is bold William Taylor,
O, from Lichfield town he came."

"If his name be William Taylor,
William Taylor is not here;
He's lately married a rich young lady,
Worth ten thousand pound a year."

"If you rise early in the morning,
Just before the break of day,
Why there you'll find bold William Taylor,
A-walking out with his lady fair."

Then she rose early in the morning,
Just before the break of day;
And there she spied bold William Taylor
A-walking out with his lady fair.

And then she called for a sword and a pistol,
Which was brought at her command;
She fired and shot bold William Taylor,
With his bride at his right hand.

And then the captain stepped up to her,
Was well pleased at what she'd done.
He took her and made her a bold commander
Over a ship and all his men.

Source:
Voice of the People, Vol. 6: Tonight I'll Make You My Bride

As sung by Joseph Taylor on a cylinder recorded in 1908 for Percy Grainger


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD WILLIAM TAYLOR
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 08:43 PM

The Dransfields did a version of this song on 'Lord of All I Behold', one of those great albums still in the clutches of the dreaded Bulmer. It is similar to the Carthy version posted above by Wolfgang, but I reckon the numerous minor textual variations and different ending warrant its posting. Unfortunately, no source is given.

BOLD WILLIAM TAYLOR

I'll tell you a story about two lovers
O from Lichfield town they came
The young man's name was William Taylor
Sally Gray was the maiden's name

William Taylor he is listed
For a soldier he is gone
He has left his own true lover
For to sigh and for to mourn

Sally's parents they did despise
Filled her heart with grief and woe
And then at last she vowed and promised
For a soldier she would go

So she dressed herself in man's apparel
Man's apparel she put on
Then off to seek Bold William Taylor
For to seek him she has gone

One day as she was exercising
Exercising, one, two, three
A silver chain pulled down her waiscoat
And exposed her lilywhite breast

So the sergeant-major he stepped up to her
Asking what brought her here
I've come to seek my own true lover
Who has proved to me severe

Well, if you've come to seek your own true lover
I pray you tell to me his name
His name it is Bold William Taylor
And from Lichfield town he came

Well, if his name be William Taylor
William Taylor he is not here
He's lately married a rich young lady
Worth ten thousand pounds a year

If you rise early in the morning
Just before the break of day
It's there you'll spy Bold William Taylor
Walking out with his lady gay

So she rose early in the morning
Just before the break of day
And there she spied Bold William Taylor
Walking out with his lady gay

So then she's called for a sword and pistol
That was brought at her command
She fired and shot Bold William Taylor
With his bride at his right hand

Well then the captain he stepped up to her
Pleased well at what she had done
He took her and made her a bold commander
Of a ship and all the men

Source: Robin and Barry Dransfield 'Lord of All I Behold' Trailer LER 2026 (1971).

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: William Taylor...
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM

Thanks, Ian!  It's good to have Fiolar's contribution set in the context of its traditional source.  Now, does anybody fancy posting the tune used?


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Subject: RE: William Taylor...
From: Fiolar
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM

Try the site
www.taramusic.com
click on artists and follow the links to Phil Callery.


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Subject: RE: William Taylor...
From: IanC
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 12:46 PM

Malcolm

This is what it says on "The Voice Squad" CD here.

Willie Taylor

Is this an early example of a women's liberation song? Of English origin, it owes its widespread distribution in the Irish tradition to the ballad-mongers. The source for this version was a remarkable singer called Pa Cassidy, form the village of Louth, in the county of Louth, whom I first recorded in 1971. He was 90 years young when this song was collected from him by Paddy Carolan and Liz McArdle, of Drogheda.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: William Taylor...
From: Fiolar
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 12:35 PM

Sorry. It's the only recording I have by this group.


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