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Penguin: The Mermaid


Related threads:
Songs with Mermaids in (55)
Lyr Req: William Howell's Mermaid Child #289 (8)
Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad} (8)
Lyr Req: Newfoundland Mermaid song (49)
Lyr Req: Ernest Stoneman's Mermaid #289 (3)
Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid) (29)
Lyr Req: Virginia Variant on The Mermaid (4)
The Mermaid -- any more verses? (5)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Mermaid (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)

Alan of Australia 19 Mar 00 - 01:57 AM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 04 - 03:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Feb 04 - 04:19 PM
Lighter 12 Feb 04 - 04:43 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 04 - 01:53 AM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 04 - 02:04 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Feb 04 - 12:20 PM
Lighter 13 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,lixian 25 Aug 05 - 10:08 AM
George Seto - 21 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM
George Seto - 21 Jun 07 - 10:22 PM
George Seto - 21 Jun 07 - 10:27 PM
George Seto - 21 Jun 07 - 10:32 PM
Anglo 21 Jun 07 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,yggdrasil 25 Jun 07 - 03:50 PM
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Subject: Penguin: The Mermaid (tune only)^^
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:57 AM

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Mermaid (Child #289) can be found here.

Other versions are here, here, and here.

Previous song: The Man Of Burningham Town.
Next song: Mother, Mother, Make My Bed.

Alan ^^

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 03:33 PM

Notes from Penguin:
    The Mermaid (FSJ 1047)
    The superstition that the sight of a mermaid is an omen of shipwreck is ancient and widespread, yet songs that treat of it are few. There is no sign that "The Mermaid" is older than the eighteenth century, but it has persisted many forms, in both England and Scotland, in oral tradition, on broasides, in song-books. It has been used as a sea-shanty, also as a students' song and a children's game ('The big ship sails up the Alley, Alley O'). Perhaps because of its familiarity in print, commentators and collectors have rather neglected this song, which, in good versions, has its fine points. The ballad is No. 289 in Child. It has been reported in recent years, from Oxfordshire (WUP 84), Hampshire (Gillington, Old Hampshire Singing Games), Cheshire (FSJ III 49), Dorset (FSJ III 50-1) Devovshire (FSJ III 139), and, in a common fragment, from Berkshire (FSJ V 227).

And from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Mermaid, The [Child 289]

DESCRIPTION: A group of sailors see a mermaid (meaning that they can expect a shipwreck). Various crew members lament the families they are leaving behind. The ship sinks.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: mermaid/man ship sea wreck
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber)) US(All) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (54 citations):
Child 289, "The Mermaid" (6 texts)
Bronson 289, "The Mermaid" (42 versions)
BronsonSinging 289, "The Mermaid" (5 versions: #2, #25, #30, #35, #40)
GreigDuncan1 27, "The Mermaid" (8 texts, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #16, B=#2, C=#6}
Ord, pp. 333-334, "The Mermaid" (1 text plus a fragment)
SharpAp 42, "The Mermaid" (3 texts plus 1fragment, 4 tunes) {Bronson's #17, #41, #24, #14}
Lomax-Singing, pp. 151-152, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune) {compare Bronson's #41}
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 363-368, "The Mermaid" (3 texts plus a fragment and a version from the Forget-me-not Songster, 1 tune) {Bronson's #25}
Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 271-280, "The Mermaid" (4 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes) {E=Bronson's #39}
Belden, pp. 101-102, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Randolph 39, "The Wrecked Ship" (3 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #42, #40}
AbrahamsRiddle, pp. 83-85, "Merrimac at Sea" (1 text, 1 tune, which is mostly this although the first verse probably floated in from somewhere else)
Davis-Ballads 48, "The Mermaid" (8 texts plus 4 fragments, the last of which may not be this song; 2 tunes entitled "The Stormy Winds," "The Mermaid"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #22, #12}
Davis-More 44, pp. 344-349, "The Mermaid" (3 texts, 1 tune)
BrownII 48, "The Mermaid" (2 texts)
BrownSchinhanIV 41, "The Mermaid" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Chappell-FSRA 23, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #9}
Morris, #175, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Hudson 26, p. 127, "The Mermaid" (1 short text)
Moore-Southwest 57, "The Ship A-Raging" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 189-190, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Creighton-Maritime, p. 26, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 106-107, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #31}
Mackenzie 16, "The Royal George" (1 text)
Blondahl, p. 90, "Black Friday" (1 text, 1 tune)
Smith/Hatt, p. 38, "Then Turn Out You Jolly Tars" (1 fragment)
Thomas-Makin', pp. 34-35, (no title) (1 fragment)
Leach, pp. 673-674, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 404, "The Mermaid" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Stout 8, pp. 14-15, "The Mermaid" (1 text plus a fragment)
FSCatskills 71, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
ThompsonNewYork, pp. 216-217, "(The Murmaid)" (1 text)
Thompson-Pioneer 9, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Musick-Larkin 33, "The Saillers" [sic] (1 text)
Niles 62, "The Mermaid" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 70-71, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
RoudBishop #13, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #4}
Williams-Thames, p. 84, "While the Raging Seas Did Roar" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 224)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 98-99, "Waves on the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 562-563, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow, pp. 147-149, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill, pp. 560, "The Mermaid" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Shay-SeaSongs, p. 124, (no title) (1 fragment, almost certainly of this song)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 71-73, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 11, pp. 26-27, "Three Sailor Boys" (1 text)
JHCox 33, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
Gainer, pp. 98-99, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ashton-Sailor, #41, "The Mermaid"; #42, "The Seaman's Distress" (2 texts)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #1422, p. 96, "The Mermaid" (1 reference)
Silber-FSWB, p. 93, "The Mermaid" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2143, "On a Friday morning we set sail"
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #413, "One Friday Morn" (1 text)
Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, part III, p. 47, "The Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST C289 (Full)
Roud #124
Emma Dusenberry, "The Mermaid" (AFS, 1936; on LC58) {Bronson's #40}
William Howell, "The Mermaid" (on FSBBAL2)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "The Mermaid Song" (on BLLunsford01) {cf. Bronson's #32}
New Lost City Ramblers, "Raging Sea" (on NLCR02)
Ernest Stoneman & His Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers, "The Raging Sea, How It Roars" (Victor Vi 21648, 1928) {Bronson's #20}

Bodleian, 2806 c.17(273), "The Mermaid" ("One Friday morning we set sail"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Harding B 11(3641), Harding B 11(3642), 2806 c.17(272), Harding B 11(2228), Harding B 11(2519), Firth c.12(413), 2806 c.17(271), 2806 c.17(275), Harding B 11(2404), Harding B 11(2603), Harding B 11(2403), "The Mermaid"; 2806 c.13(248), Firth c.12(414), Harding B 11(3146), "The Mermaid" or "The Gallant Ship"
LOCSinging, sb20297a, "The Mermaid," H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878

cf. "Three Times Round" (verse form and some lines)
The Sinking Ship
Oh, the Lamp Burns Dimly Down Below
The Stormy Winds Do Blow
The Gallant Ship
NOTES [1122 words]: Legend has it that a ship that sees a mermaid will be destroyed. (Some versions say that all aboard are to be drowned as well, but they could hardly drown at the time; else how would anyone know what destroyed the ship?) Ord also notes that it was considered unlucky for ships to sail on a Friday -- and most versions do seem to involve sailing on that day.
One of the verses of this, "three times around went our gallant ship," seems to have circulated independently as a nursery rhyme; see, e.g., Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #862, p. 322.
It is often stated that mermaids were sailors' mistaken impression of manatees or dugongs (so, e.g., Benet, p. 715; Jones-Larousse, p. 300; Pickering, p. 193). But Cordingly, pp. 165-166, makes the noteworthy points that, first, manatees and dugongs aren't very attractive. Second, and even more decisive, dugongs live in the Indian Ocean and in the coastal areas of Indonesia and Australia -- areas European sailors would not have seen. Similarly, manatees are found in Florida, the West Indies, Brazil, and the Congo. Neither mammal is found anywhere near European waters.
In a side note, Dawkins, p. 216, notes that the Afrotheres, which includes the order of Sirenia (dugongs and manatees) are the most remote of all placental mammals from modern humans, having split off from the human lineage more than 100 million years ago. Thus the dugongs and manatees are, logically, the mammals least likely to attract human male interest.
Dawkins himself comments on p. 222 that the sailors "who first spotted the likeness must have been at sea for a very long time." He adds two rather interesting points. First, "Sirenians are, with whales, the only mammals that never come on land at any time." In other words, you will not see a manatee or dugong "sitting on a rock," as in this song. Second, "Their vegetarian died requires an immensely long gut and a low energy budget. The high-speed aquabatics of a carnivorous dolphin contrast dramatically with the lazy drifting of a vegetarian dugong: guided missile to dirigible balloon." Thus the Sirenians neither look nor act anything like mermaids.
If there is any physical reason for the Sirenians being identified with mermaids, it may be because of the way they nurse their young. Binney, p. 206, makes the interesting point that "While sucking their single young the [female Sirenians] cradle the babies to their breasts with one flipper in the manner of human mothers."
Simpson/Roud, p. 234, make the interesting observation that mermaids seem to have been originally tailless -- an elaboration of the siren legend. (Hence the name Sirenia for the order containing the dugongs and manatees.) Which makes sense -- how could a warm-blooded mammal like a mermaid (and it is obvious that they are mammalian!) have a cold-blooded, scaled fish tail? A dolphin's tail, maybe, but a fish's tail?
To be sure, one of the earliest documented sightings, by two of Henry Hudson's crew in his Northeast Passage exploration of 1608, described a creature with a porpoise's tail -- although with the coloration of a mackerel. The skin of the creature's upper body was very white, the hair very dark. Hudson noted the sighting, but did not see the alleged creature himself (Mancall, p. 58).
Cordingly, p. 168, does note an upsurge in alleged mermaid sightings "during the age of exploration," and cites mentions from seemingly hard-headed observers as Hudson's crew. Possibly the dugongs and manatees helped along the transition from siren to creature half-human half-fish -- but even this would be hard to prove. Maybe the sailors were seeing Sirenians -- or maybe their long absence from home made them particularly lusty, and the scurvy they probably experienced made them particularly imaginative. He also notes, p. 169, some instances of people allegedly keeping mermaids. It would be nice if someone had kept a skeleton....
In any case, we see our first half-human half-fish creature in mythology before Europeans reached the seas where the sirenians are found: The demon Melusine/Melusina, who, when first seen, was a beautiful woman Sunday through Friday, but who hid on Saturdays because her half-fish form was revealed (Cordingly, pp. 166-167; Jones-Larousse, p. 298,) Also, CHEL1, p. 354, notes a fourteenth century book which declares that "flatterers are like to nickers (sea-fairies), which have the bodies of women and the tails of fish" and sing sailors to sleep. - RBW
Creighton-Maritime moves the locale to New York City: "board bill on Fifth Avenue," "sweetheart in Madison's Square," and the wreck [took place] as "we neared Jersey flats, Sandy Hook was on our lea." - BS
Mackenzie's "The Royal George" ("O the Royal George turned round three times") would seem to have adapted "The Mermaid" to the sinking of the Royal George, "flagship of Admiral Kempenfelt, ... on 29 August 1782 with the loss of eight hundred lives, including Admiral Kempenfelt himself." (source: "The Loss of the Royal George" at The Cowper and Newton Museum web page at the Milton Keynes Heritage Association site). You can see William Cowper's poem on the subject at Charles W. Eliot, editor, English Poetry Vol II From Collins to Fitzgerald (New York, 1910), #314, pp. 533-534, "Loss of the Royal George." - BS
I note parenthetically that Keegan, p. 51, spells the name "Kemenfelt." This may be a printing error, however, as the name is used only once, with reference to the revised signal system he invented. Dupuy/Johnson/Bongard gives his dates as 1718-1782, and says of him, "Am intelligent and learned officer, Kempenfelt was noted as a scientist, scholar, and author, known both for his oncern for his men's health and welfare, and for his scholarly approach to naval issues; his success at Ushant showed initiative, daring, and a clear grasp of strategy and tactics."
The Royal George itself, according to Paine, p. 439, was ordered in 1749 but not finished until 1759; she was a first rate battleship, said to be the "first warship to exceed 2,000 tons burden." She fought under Hawke at Quiberon Bay (for which see "Bold Hawke").
Put in the reserve in 1763 with the conclusion of the Seven Years' War, she was put back in commission in 1778 as the French and Americans made war on Britain. She was taking on supplies at Spithead "when on August 29 Royal George was being heeled at a slight angle to make some minor repairs below the waterline. At the same times, casks of rum were being loaded aboard and the lower deck gunports were not properly secured. At about 0920 the ship suddenly rolled over on her beam ends, filled with water, and sank, taking with her 800 people,including as many as 300 women and 60 children who were visiting the ship." - RBW


  • Benet: William Rose Benet, editor, The Reader's Encyclopdedia, first edition, 1948 (I use the four-volume Crowell edition but usually check it against the single volume fourth edition edited by Bruce Murphy and published 1996 by Harper-Collins)
  • Binney: Ruth Binney, Nature's Way: lore, legend, fact and fiction, David and Charles, 2006
  • CHEL1: Sir A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller, Editors, The Cambridge History of English Literature, Volume I: From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance, 1907 (I use the 1967 Cambridge edition)
  • Cordingly: David Cordingly, Women Sailors and Sailors' Women, Random House, 2001 (I use the undated, but later, paperback edition)
  • Dawkins: Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale, 2004 (I use the 2005 Mariner Books edition)
  • Dupuy/Johnson/Bongard: Trevor N. Dupuy, Curt Johnson, and David L. Bongard, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography, 1992 (I use the 1995 Castle edition)
  • Jones-Larousse: Alison Jones, Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore, Larousse, 1995 (I use the 1996 paperback edition)
  • Keegan: John Keegan, The Price of Admiralty: The Evolution of Naval Warfare, Penguin, 1988
  • Mancall: Peter C. Mancall, Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson, Basic Books, 2009
  • Paine: Lincoln P. Paine, Ships of the World: An Historical Encylopedia, Houghton Mifflin, 1997
  • Pickering: David Pickering, The Cassell Dictionary of Folklore, Cassell, 1999
  • Simpson/Roud: Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud, A Dictionary of English Folklore, Oxford, 2000
Last updated in version 4.2
File: C289

Go to the Ballad Search form
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Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 04:19 PM

Joe, are the versions in Brown, North Carolina Folklore, worth posting? (You have the book). The single verse in vol. IV, about the captain with a family in NY looks interesting.

Bronson didn't have it as one of his "Singing Tradition."

Alan's links need upgrading.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 04:43 PM

Can't recall where I saw it, but "Brooklyn by the sea" appears in one otherwise unremarkable version.

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Subject: ADD: Oh, the Lamp Burns Dimly Down Below
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:53 AM

Yes, Q, the two versions from Brown are quite interesting.
-Joe Offer-

Oh, the Lamp Burns Dimly Down Below

1. The first to come up was the captain of the ship,
And a brave old tar was he.
Says he, 'I've a wife in Merrie England;
This night she is watching for me.'
Oh, the lamps burn dimly down below, down below.
Oh, the lamps burn dimly down below.

2. The next to come up was the captain's first mate,
And a brave young man was he.
Says he, 'I've a sweetheart in Merrie England;
This night she is waiting for me.'

3. The next to come up was the little cabin boy,
And a brave young lad was he.
Says he, 'I've a mother in Merrie England;
This night she is praying for me.'

4. The last to come up was the greasy old cook,
And a brave old tar was he.
Says he, 'All my pots and all my kettles too
Have gone to the bottom of the sea.'

Version 48A, Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore
'Oh, the Lamp Burns Dimly Down Below.' Contributed by Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, Burke County, in 1914. The refrain, which clearly derives from the more familiar form, is without parallel, except in a fragment in the Virginia collection (TBV 528).

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Subject: ADD Version: The Mermaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 02:04 AM

(The Mermaid)

1. In the gallant...fleet
There was no ship so fine
As the brig-rigged lugger Maid o' Home;
And the galley there was mine.
Oh long, long may the loud waves roar
On the rocks below the key;
But the Maid o' Home will turn no more.
No more my wife I will see.

2. She was standing out above the banks
When bosun seen a sight so fair:
A sea-witch fine upon the swell
Combing her golden hair.

3. Her comb was of the finest pearl,
Her mirror like the sun.
I have not seen a prettier maid,
A prettier maid not none.

4. She sang a song so soft and sweet
The crew could not move for the sound.
And where the Maid o' Home struck hard
It were fifty fathom down.

5. Then up there stepped the gallant mate,
His face was white and pale.
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye Plymouth men;
No more we'll ever sail,'

6. Then up there sprang the captain hold,
A fearsome man was he.
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye sailor men;
Your homes you'll never see.

7. 'I have a wife, all neat and fair
And dressed in holland fine;
But never more will I see her
Or those broad lands of mine.'

8. The sea-witch sang so loud and clear
Above the roaring waves,
And all of us were there to hear;
We knew it was our knell.

9. 'Come comb my hair for me a while,
Come stroke my hair so fair,
And you will never want your home,
Or your wife that weeps so sore.'

10. 'I will not comb your hair a while
Nor stroke your hair so fair;
But I will always want my home
And my wife that weeps so sore.'

11. The cabin boy, he wept with fright,
The seas they were so high,
And all of us upon that ship,
We knew our death was nigh.

12. The ship it strained and rocked and tore,
Our pretty Maid o' Home.
And then we knew that she would no more
The broad, broad seas to roam.

13. Three times around went the Maid o' Home,
Three times around went she.
And then she sank with her sailor-men all
To the bottom of the sea.

14. In Plymouth there does stand a church
With many a woeful wife
Who mourns for her dear sailor-man
Who's losted of his life.

Version 48B, Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore
No title. Reported by Thomas Leary of Durham as known by his brother, who learned it on Cape Cod. Although not from North Carolina tradition it is given her because it varies rather widely from other versions, not only in the refrain but also in the text.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:20 PM

Song about a disaster, but fun to sing. There must have been hundreds of versions.
Note- Conveniently, the Child texts were posted in thread 66502: Mermaid

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM

Versions like the Clancy Bros.' having the familiar major tune *are* fun to sing, but the somber tune in Penguin is another story. An excellent demonstration of how crucial a melody can be to a song's meaning. (Even a major tune, sung slowly and dramatically enough, can convey a sense of sadness. I'm thinking of Ken Burns's elegiac presentation of the tune of "Dixie" during his "Civil War" TV series.)

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM

The popularity of "The Mermaid" is shown by its inclusion in "Heart Songs," 1909, the popular volume distributed by "The National Magazine" of Boston.
This one has the easily remembered chorus:

O, the ocean waves may roll,
And the stormy winds may blow,
While we poor sailors go skipping to the tops,
And the landlubbers lie down below, below, below,
And the landlubbers lie down below.

pp. 360-361, with music.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: GUEST,lixian
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 10:08 AM

there is a version sang by the brobdingnagian bards, and it can be downloaded from it's called, "the mermaid song". i was looking for the lyrics when i came across this site..

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Subject: RE: The Mermaid - Stormy Winds Did Blow
From: George Seto -
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM

From one of the recent threads, I got a copy of that Music of the Waters book, by Laura SMith. She's got on pg 64, this song called Te Stormy Winds Did Blow. Her notes state:
"The following song I also found in Mr. Chappell's book.

It is one of Charles Sloman's (1840)

Page 63 of her book mentions this
"Mr. Chappell, in his invaluable " Music of the Olden Time,""

Does anyone know who this Charles Sloman is?

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Subject: RE: Chappell
From: George Seto -
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 10:22 PM

Found the book, page by page, at Stormy Winds do Blow

It says that Charles Sloman was the source in 1840 of this version of the song.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: George Seto -
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 10:27 PM

Actually, there are two volumes marked off there at

Popular Music of Olden Times Vol 1
Popular Music of Olden Times Vol 2

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: George Seto -
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 10:32 PM

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: Anglo
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 11:18 PM

The way I read it, Charles Sloman sang a fragment, one verse and a chorus, printed with music on the following page. The text above was a different fragment, more complete obviously. Since Chappell noted it from Sloman's singing, he would presumably have been some acquaintance, or someone aware enough of his interests to have contacted him. The text reads:

Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship
And a brave young man was he
I have 60 gallant seamen aboard of my ship
But none so gallant as he, as he, as he,
But none so gallant as he.

While the vivid lightnings flash
And the stormy winds do blow
While we poor seamen are up, up aloft
And the landsmen are all down below, below, below,
And the landsmen are all down below.

The tune is a close variant of the "usual" dotted tempo major one, with the indication "Right jovially, and moderately fast."

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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Mermaid
From: GUEST,yggdrasil
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:50 PM

What is the connection with 'The big ship sails up the Alley, Alley O'?
I was looking for the origin of that song, and ended up here

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