The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74823 Message #3144218
Posted By: Joe Offer
28-Apr-11 - 02:51 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Three Score and Ten
Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
I moved the "perpetuated errors" messages over here because they really ought to be with other information on the song. I think this is the definitive thread on "Three Score and Ten." You will note above the Roy Palmer's Oxford Book of Sea Songs has "They longed to fight that bitter night to battle with the swell." I wonder if his Boxing the Compass revision has something different. I have to agree that this version doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
You will notice in the message from BB above, a version that appears to be quite early, that doesn't have a chorus or a mention of a "bitter fight/night" at all.
So, what's the "correct" version? I'd venture to say that there is no correct version. There are just "various" versions, and whether it's "defied" or "to fight" is a matter of personal preference.
I think that most of us will tend to prefer the first version we learned.