The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88458 Message #1660827
Posted By: GUEST,J.C.
03-Feb-06 - 03:28 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
Pretty Polly aka The Cruel Ship's Carpenter - aka The Gosport Tragedy, aka The Ghost Ship, aka In Dublin's Fair City et al.
The Roud index lists 292 versions, mostly American, though it has been found in Britain and Ireland.
Earliest known version, The Gosport Tragedy or The Perjured Ship's Carpenter, printed and sold in a Garland at The Printing Office, Bow Churchyard, London in 1750.
Best known English recorded version from Sam Larner, a Norfolk fisherman, entitled The Ghost Ship, where the murdered woman returns and takes revenge on her murderer. Harry Cox, also from Norfolk, also sang it.
Best American version by far (in my opinion) is by Frank Proffitt of North Carolina, which is beautifully sung by Peggy Seeger on various records.