The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #141779   Message #3264988
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
28-Nov-11 - 04:10 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Rolling Sailor (Eliza Carthy)
Subject: RE: Origins: Rolling Sailor (Eliza Carthy)
Actually I had another look at some of the songs for Roud index #506. There are 4 entries that come up in a title search for Rolling Sailor (2 for Palmer's books and 2 for the Madden collection), but 36 entries for #506. Not all of these have the sailor.

Several have the title Whistle O'er The Lave O't. I looked at the version in Farmer's Merry Songs and Ballads and the song doesn't appear to have anything in common with the Rolling Sailor. Similarly with the (3verse) Collier Lads from the Huddlestons' Songs of The Ridings (which does have the ..brass verse but nothing else).

Laura Smith's Through Romany Songland, has My Mother Sent Me O'er The Water, which is more like the Whisle O'er, but does have two sailor-related verses:

  My chap's gone a sailor for to be,
  He's gone across the deep blue sea ;
  When he do return how happy I shall be,
  I'm going to marry a navy !

  I'm going to marry a chap in blue,
  He is a navy, and his eye dark blue,
  And O ! I know that he loves me true.
  I'm going to marry a navy ! "

It looks as if most of the other-titled songs for #506 have little to do with waiting for pressed sailors. It may be that by using the other verses from The Sailor Laddie, Palmer has biased the song a bit. It would be nice to see the Madden broadside to decide.