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Origins: Botany Bay Question

DigiTrad:
BOTANY BAY
BOTANY BAY (3)
BOTANY BAY 2
JIM JONES (BOTANY BAY)


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RTim 13 Jan 08 - 09:15 AM
RTim 13 Jan 08 - 06:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jan 08 - 07:16 PM
Joybell 14 Jan 08 - 06:16 AM
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Subject: Origins: Botany Bay Question
From: RTim
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 09:15 AM

While doing some research on the song - Botany Bay (as collected from George Blake in hampshire): I found that the version of the song I am interested in was given the Roud Index number of 261. This index No. seems to relate more to the American song - The Boston Burglar.
However I also found a second Roud index for Botany Bay of 3267.
Can anyone explain why 2 numbers exist and what if any are the differences between the songs?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Origins: Botany Bay Question
From: RTim
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 06:31 PM

Refresh - Where's Malcolm Douglas when you need him?

Tim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Botany Bay Question
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 07:16 PM

Preoccupied these last few days with something rather more pressing, I'm afraid.

The 'original' 'Botany Bay' is classified by Laws as L16A, and its derivative, 'Boston Burglar', as L16B. Roud at present classes both together under Roud 261, which can be confusing if you don't have access to Laws. Roud 3267 is another derivative form; basically the Australian one popularised in the 1960s Revival by professional Irish performers, with chorus.

See previous threads here for more detail, and the Traditional Ballad Index for a precis of Laws. The Roud entries include several British broadside examples; there are copies of some of those at the Bodleian, and looking at them will give you a better idea of how things fit together.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Botany Bay Question
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 06:16 AM

Something we have noticed -- for what it's worth -- is that "The Boston Burglar" seems to have been written by someone unfamiliar with Boston USA. Charlestown Prison is only about two miles from the heart of Boston -- Charlestown has been part of Boston since 1874. It would seem unlikely that a prisoner would be taken to Charlestown Prison by train -- or that there would be many stations in between if they did. Anyway East of Boston is the sea. Charlestown is North of Boston. About an hours walk away.
Cheers, Joy


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