The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96582   Message #3693057
Posted By: Brian Peters
11-Mar-15 - 09:50 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Origins: My Jolly Roving Tar
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Origins: My Jolly Roving Tar
Thanks, Vic, for letting us compare those two texts. The Lomax one is very close to Harrigan-Braham. The Lena Bourne Fish one, however, has a chorus which is undoubtedly (IMO) constructed from chunks of the English broadside - I've just realised that Harrigan-Braham doesn't contain the phrase 'jolly roving tar' at all, so that makes it three phrases from the BS that turn up in the Fish chorus. And, as stated before, her tune is very similar too. I'm willing to bet that the revival version from Newfoundland quoted above is a direct lift from Fish, which has become the standard revival version over the past good many years.

So the question remains: where did Mrs Fish's old whalerman get his amalgamated version?