The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13719   Message #4200124
Posted By: GUEST,Judd Peterson
31-Mar-24 - 01:53 AM
Thread Name: ADD: Sally Ann / Ballad of Sally Anne
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sally Ann / Ballad of Sally Anne
From the many varied scraps of historical references I have come across about “Sally Ann”, I believe it is considered truly an old traditional folk song from many, many years ago, probably initially about a tragic love between a woman pacing the widow’s roost on shore in port and her missing lover, awaited, but likely never coming back from the sea because of a sinking of his ship. Over the years, the lyrics appear to have been updated to apply to more current, tragic love circumstances. For example, after the Civil War, the tune referred to a woman longing for her lover fighting and perhaps lost in that war. The more recent version of the lyrics refer to the tragic lynching of Johnny after his wedding to Sally Ann and does reference Billy Holliday’s 1931 lyric about “strange fruit” (the unfortunately all too common, innocent, Black man lynched from a tree). Those more current lyrics were written by Alice Randall in 1991 and the song was then recorded by Mark O’Connor and the New Nashville Cats.