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Fishing for Polly

Steve Gardham 21 Sep 10 - 05:57 PM
Matthew Edwards 21 Sep 10 - 07:04 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM
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Subject: Fishing for Polly
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 05:57 PM

Just a snatch from 'Ballads Songs and Snatches' by Jackson-Houlston, from the Hardy Song Collection. I know this stanza well but because it's not part of my repertoire I just can't place it. It looks like it might be a part of 'Hares on the Mountains' but I don't think it is. It's part of a love song and I can't place it.

I wish I was a fisherman by yon river side
And Polly a salmon swimming in the tide
I'd throw out my fish-net, catch her in a snare
And bring home my Polly I vow and declare.

I know I'm gonna kick myself when you tell me.
How quickly can Mudcat solve this one?

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Subject: RE: Fishing for Polly
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 07:04 PM

Looks like a stray verse from 'I've Rambled This Country Both Earlye, and Late' (Roud 1795) in Our Singing Country; John A. Lomax & Alan Lomax, 1941, pp.143-144. Sung by James Mullins, Morgan County, Kentucky.

I wish I were a fisherman on yon riverside,
Pretty Polly my object come floating down the tide;
I'd throw my net round her, I'd bring her to the shore,
And have Pretty Polly to weep for no more.


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Subject: RE: Fishing for Polly
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM

Thanks, Matthew
That's certainly a scarce American piece. I only have versions from Lomax, Davies, Belden and Wolf. It appears on first impressions to be a collection of floaters and if so what was it doing in Dorset in the middle of the 19th century? The stanza sounds much more familiar than that.
I'll check out the Roud Index and see if that throws any light on it.

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Mudcat time: 21 July 11:40 PM EDT

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