The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125922   Message #2846902
Posted By: Tootler
22-Feb-10 - 02:38 PM
Thread Name: pretty polly - Cruel Ship's Carpenter?
Subject: RE: pretty polly
I liked your version Dick.

I found this version in a book of songs collected by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in the Appalachians in about 1917.

The Cruel Ship's Carpenter
Traditional: Collected in N. Carolina by Cecil Sharp & Maud Karpeles

O Polly, O Polly, O will you agree
O Will you agree and get married to me?
O William, O William, that never will do
For I am too young to get married to you

O Polly, O Polly, if you will agree
Before we get married, some pleasure we'll see.
He led her o'er mountains and valleys so deep
Till at length pretty Polly began for to weep

O William, O William, you're leading me astray
On purpose my innocent heart to betray.
O Polly, O Polly, I guess you spoke right
I was digging your grave the best part of last night

She fold' her arms around him without any fear,
How can you bear to kill the girl that loves you so dear?
O Polly, O Polly, we've no time to stand.
And instantly drew a short knife in his hand.

He pierc├ęd her heart and the blood it did flow,
And into her grave her fair body did throw.
He covered her up and away he did go.
He left nothing but small birds to make their sad moan.

He entered his ship on the salt sea so wide
And swore by his maker he'd see the other side.
Whilst he was a sailing in his heart's content
The ship sprung a leak, to the bottom she went.

Whilst he was a lying there all in his sad surprise
He saw pretty Polly appear before his eyes.
O William, O William, you've no time to stay;
There's a debt to the devil that you're bound to pay.

The book also contains a rather fine Dorian mode tune;

T:The Cruel Ship's Carpenter
C:Version Collected by Cecil Sharp & Maud Karpeles in N. Carolina.