The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56449   Message #2726248
Posted By: Steve Gardham
18-Sep-09 - 04:26 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Dogger Bank / Grimsby Fisherman
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Dogger Bank' - help w. some words
Roy's/Kidson's broadside text is also without imprint and apart from a few corrections by Roy it is word for word the Bodl broadside. Not worth much but I'd say the broadside was printed away from the Humber somewhere as 'Spurn' is printed 'Spurm' (a Freudian slip or just a misprint possibly?). Any local would know 'Spurn Point' as the opposite headland to Grimsby across the estuary mouth.

As for origins Cazden, Haufrecht and Studer in their wonderful well-researched book 'Folk Songs of the Catskills' produce a remarkable essay on the whole family of songs well worth reading. They conclude, The oldest relevant text of the song about the Knickerbocker Line is called the Stage Driver. It is a stage piece composed by James Unsworth and published in his 'Burnt Cork Lyrics'....1859...Unsworth is known to have been active in London during 1861 and later, when his 'Stage Driver' was already in print and presumed to have had regular performances. It becomes highly probable that some form of The Knickerbocker line received thus its direct intoduction to the English scene. Soon after the song was much parodied in America (The Denver City Line etc)

It would seem reasonable to suppose that the English song called 'The Knickerbocker Line' was based on this popular song. The earliest printing of the British version I have, which mentions Bristol and London, was printed in Glasgow in 1876. However Dogger Bank seems more closely related to the Great Lakes 'Bigler' offshoots, so the line of descent looks decidedly like New York to Great Lakes to Grimsby (and all stops in between!)