The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81820   Message #2964679
Posted By: Steve Gardham
13-Aug-10 - 06:18 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Roll, Alabama Roll
Subject: RE: Origins: Roll, Alabama Roll
The version given by Duncan Emrich in 'Folklore on the American Land'
1972 is said to come from Dick Maitland but is different from the above version attributed to Maitland. I am informed that Emrich 'edited' some of his texts. FWIW here it is. I recognise the tune as the one I have heard and sung.

When the Alabama's keel was laid
R, A, r
They laid the keel at Birkenhead
Oh, r, A, r.

She was built in the yard of Jonathan Laird
She was built in the yard at Birkenhead

And away down the Mersey she sailed one day
And across to the westward she ploughed her way

'Twas at the island of Fayal
Where she got her guns and crew on board

Then away cross the watery world
To sink, to burn, and to destroy

All the Federal comers that came her way
'Twas in the harbour of Cherbourg one day

There the little Kearsarge she did lay
When Semmes and Winslow made the shore

Winslow challenged Semmes out to sea
He couldn't refuse, there was too many around

Three miles outside of Cherbourg
There the Kearsarge sunk her down below

A rather strange concoction in which shunting of lines seems to have occurred. The lack of rhyme could easily have been remedied.