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Lyr Req: Poor Bessy Was a Sailor's Bride/Wife

RTim 03 Feb 11 - 11:07 AM
RTim 03 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM
RTim 03 Feb 11 - 04:29 PM
RTim 04 Feb 11 - 01:16 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Feb 11 - 04:42 PM
RTim 05 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Feb 11 - 04:32 PM
Joe Offer 05 Feb 11 - 07:00 PM
RTim 05 Feb 11 - 11:22 PM
Joe Offer 05 Feb 11 - 11:40 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Feb 11 - 01:12 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Our Bessie Was a Sailor's Bride
From: RTim
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 11:07 AM

Does anyone have the words for Henry Burstow's version of Our Bessie Was a Sailor's Bride?
It is Roud No. 13808. I have the words for the other two versions collected in the South of England - ie. From Gardiner and Williams. I want to compare Burstow's with these.
Yes, I also know of all the various Broadsides that exist of the song.

Thanks - Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: RTim
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM

Any one out there who might be able to help?

Tim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM

Tim,
As far as I remember much of Burstow's large repertoire was only listed rather than noted down, as a lot of it, like this one would have still been floating around on broadsides and sheet music and not considered worth collecting by some of the early collectors. The only place you will get it is in Lucy Broadwood's manuscripts. An email to Malcolm T I would recommend, but I don't hold out any hopes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: RTim
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 04:29 PM

Thanks Steve - Have written to Elaine Bradke and asked her.
I did find an online copy of his Reminiscenses of Horsham, 1911 - book, but it only lists the songs he sang - not the words.

Best - Tim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: RTim
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 01:16 PM

Just to keep anyone up to speed on this, if you are reading this thread.

It seems that NOT all of the 420 songs that Burstow could sing from memory were actually written down.
Therefore Our Bessie Was a Sailor's Bride only appears in his Reminiscenses of Horsham as a Song title among the full list of sings.
The VWML tells me that there are limited texts in the Broadwood collection, etc.. and that is about all.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 04:42 PM

If you look at the lists it's pretty understandable. There are lots of parlour songs and patriotic national pieces if I remember correctly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: RTim
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM

I think I am going crazy!!
Some time ago I found an entry in a Broadside list of this song that included the two additional verses NOT collected by Gardiner & Williams.
I even wrote down the reference - ie. Harding B17(23b) - but whatever I do, I can't find that reference anymore online or via the Bodleian website. Or am I just searching for the wrong thing?

Can anyone help with this??

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 04:32 PM

Tim
If it's any help the 5 stanza versions were printed in Lancashire, in Manchester, Preston and Liverpool. The only Bodleian versions I have copies of are all 3 stanza and printed down south.
These Lancashire ones had the following titles which you can easily put into the Bodl search box.
Bessy, the Sailor's Bride
Poor Bessie was a Sailor's Bride
Incidentally the sheet music is on the Lester Levy website 176.16 and 183.20


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 07:00 PM

Hi, Tim-
I can't find this posted at Mudcat at all. Can you post the versions you have?
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Versions: The Sailor's Bride
From: RTim
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 11:22 PM

At Joe's request, here are the versions I have of this song. A tune for song exists in both the TAKE6 web site for the Blake version, and also for a three verse version in the Lester Levy collection that Steve G. refers to above. The text is practically identical.

Tim Radford



The Sailor's Bride - Moses Blake, Emery Down, Hampshire - H276
Roud 13808 - Collected by George Gardiner

THE SAILOR'S BRIDE

Poor Bessie was a sailor's bride, and he was off to sea,
Her only child was by her side and who so sad was she,
Forget me not, forget me not, when you are far away,
And whatsoever poor Bessie's lot, we will remember thee.

A twelve month scarce had passed away as it was told to me,
Poor Willie with a gladsome heart come home again from sea,
He bounded up a craggy rock and sought his cottage door,
But his poor wife and lovely child poor Willie saw no more.

Forget me not, forget me not, those words rung in his ears,
He asked the neighbours one by one, each answered with a tear.
And pointed to the old churchyard and there is youthful bride,
With the pretty child he loved so well was resting by her side.
))))))
Final two verses below are from a Broadsheet - Harding B17(23b)
At the Bodleian Library.
Title of full version - Bessy a Sailors Wife.

Farewell, farewell dear wife and babe, it was you I did adore,
When we parted I little thought, it was to meet no more.
But since grim death has summoned thee, all from this World of care,
I'll bid adieu to all my friends, your fate I soon will share.

Then quite distracted in his mind, a knife he quickly drew,
Having sighed for his wife and babe, he pierced his body through.
He fell, he fell upon the ground, died like a sailor brave,
So William, Bessie and their babe, are all laid in one grave.



And finally, the version in the Alfred Williams, Wiltshire collection:
Source is unknown.

Title in Williams - Forget me not

FORGET ME NOT

Verse 1
Poor Betsy was a sailor's bride,
And he went off to sea,
Their only child was by her side,
And who so sad as she?
'Forget me not, forget me not,
When you are far from me,
And whatever may be Betsy's lot,
She will remember thee.'

Verse 2
A twelvemonth had scarce passed away,
As it was told to me,
When Willie, with a gladsome heart,
Came home again from sea;
He bounded up the craggy path,
And sought his cottage door,
But his poor wife and lovely child,
Poor Willie saw no more.

Verse 3
'Forget me not, forget me not,'
These words rang in his ear,
He asked the neighbours, one by one,
Each answered with a tear;
They pointed to the old churchyard,
And there his youthful bride,
With the pretty child he loved so well,
Lay sleeping side by side.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: our bessie was a sailor's bride
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 11:40 PM

Thanks a lot, Tim. Interesting song.

-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: BESSY, THE SAILOR'S BRIDE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 01:12 PM

From The Quaver; or, Songster's Pocket Companion (London: Charles Jones, 1844), page 54:


BESSY, THE SAILOR'S BRIDE.

Poor Bessy was a sailor's bride,
And he was off to sea.
Their only child was by her side,
And who so sad as she?

"Forget me not, forget me not,
When you are far from me,
And whatsoe'er poor Bessy's lot,
She will remember thee."

A twelvemonth scarce had past away,
As it was told to me,
When Willy with a gladsome heart
Came home again from sea.

He bounded up the craggy path,
And sought his cottage door,
But his poor wife and lovely child,
Poor Willy saw no more.

"Forget me not, forget me not,"
The words rung in his ear.
He asked the neighbours one by one.
Each answer'd with a tear.

They pointed to the old church-yard,
And there his youthful bride,
With the pretty child he loved so well,
Were resting side by side.


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