The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #43126 Message #2976724
Posted By: GUEST,Ian Robb
31-Aug-10 - 11:44 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Rose in June
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: The Rose in June
Not to be too much of a nitpicker, but correcting my post above, it seems the singer's name was actually Bill Dobbin without the "s".
Last November, after a wonderful visit to St John's, NL, I received a long email from Anna Kearney Guigne, a folklorist with the Dept. of Music at Memorial University, Newfoundland. She had kindly dug up all she knew about the song including other versions of the song found in Newfoundland and a couple of fragments. She also pointed me to a commercial cassette recording that Mr Dobbin had made in the 90s.
Anna writes "...a singer named Bill Dobbin who performs a rather long version of the song on a cassette tape named "The Dainty: Traditional Music as sung by Bill Dobbin." The tape was independently produced by SWC productions English Harbour West (Bud Davidge fame) about 10 years ago. Bud says that the fellow came from around the Corner Brook area but remembers little else about him."
I'm thinking it's likely that Mr Dobbin moved to Blanc Sablon for work, and may have returned to the Island later. The University Folklore Archives confirm that Goldsten found him in Blanc Sablon.
I contacted Bud Davidge (a well known singer and songwriter on the Island), who was very helpful and sent me a CD copy of the tape, which is mostly Newfoundland songs accompanied by a Country Western style band. Yes, even the eight minute long "Rose in June".
Finally a mea culpa from me. When I recorded the song, a few things just didn't seem to sit right, so I applied a bit of folk processing. I make no apologies for that, but I must acknowledge that I completed the renaming of the captain to "Andrew Davis" in the first verse. The Dobbin version has "Andrew Davidson" in the first verse, and renames him later in the song. And that's how my old and dear pal Louis (now Louisa) Killen recorded it. From Matthew Edwards's post and the Dundee newspaper article, it's clear that "Davidson" it should probably have remained, and damn the scansion. On the other hand, one should never let the facts get in the way of a good song...
This has been a really interesting hunt, and thanks once again to Matthew for unearthing the truth,