Well, we got Anglo's answer, but let's see what else we can dig up. The Greig-Duncan versions date back to 1905, and the Lloyd version to 1937. Anything earlier?
Here's the not-very-helpful Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:
Bonnie Ship the Diamond, TheDESCRIPTION: "The Diamond is a ship my lads, For the Davis Straight she's bound." The ship goes whaling near Greenland, "Where the sun it never sets." The singer toasts various ships, and promises to return home. When the ship returns, sailors and girls go on sprees
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Ord)
KEYWORDS: ship sea whaler return sex
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Ord, pp. 312-313, "The Bonnie Ship the Diamond" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 319-320, "The Diamond" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 94, "The Bonny Ship the Diamond" (1 text)
Notes: According to Ord, The Bonnie Ship the Diamond sailed from Aberdeen -- and, yes, he considers the ship's name to be The Bonnie Ship the Diamond, not just The Diamond. He does not, however, cite a source. - RBW
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.