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Origins: My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean

DigiTrad:
MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN


Related threads:
Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean' (30)
Lyr Req: My Bonnie (funny stuff) (36)
Lyr Req: My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth (P Schickele) (17)
Lyr Req: Lord how the money rolls in (20)
My Bonnie (8)
Lyr Req: Bring Back My Bonnie (9)
Lyr Req: My bonnie (6)


GUEST,Tamara 16 May 00 - 10:07 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 May 00 - 01:21 PM
Linda Kelly 16 May 00 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 16 May 00 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 16 May 00 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Tamara 16 May 00 - 04:01 PM
Linda Kelly 16 May 00 - 04:14 PM
Linda Kelly 16 May 00 - 04:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 May 00 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 16 May 00 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Tamara 17 May 00 - 09:19 AM
Wolfgang 17 May 00 - 09:31 AM
Wolfgang 17 May 00 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Ickle Dorritt (fedupwithlosinghercookieyet 17 May 00 - 03:39 PM
Irish Rover 17 May 00 - 06:11 PM
Little Neophyte 17 May 00 - 10:52 PM
Sandy Paton 17 May 00 - 11:24 PM
Sandy Paton 17 May 00 - 11:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 May 00 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 May 00 - 11:16 PM
Wolfgang 19 May 00 - 08:48 AM
L R Mole 19 May 00 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Tamara 19 May 00 - 03:04 PM
Scotsbard 19 May 00 - 04:40 PM
SINSULL 19 May 00 - 04:48 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 May 00 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 20 May 00 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 20 May 00 - 02:21 PM
masato sakurai 25 Dec 01 - 12:12 AM
Coyote Breath 25 Dec 01 - 02:14 PM
Louie Roy 25 Dec 01 - 02:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Dec 01 - 10:05 PM
Haruo 25 Dec 01 - 10:52 PM
Chris Amos 26 Dec 01 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,django 26 Dec 01 - 03:21 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 Dec 01 - 08:08 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 Dec 01 - 08:33 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 Dec 01 - 09:02 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 Dec 01 - 09:16 PM
masato sakurai 01 Jun 02 - 07:08 AM
waterdragon 01 Jun 02 - 10:40 AM
Snuffy 01 Jun 02 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Heidi, Denmark 08 Oct 03 - 01:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 01:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 01:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 02:59 PM
greg stephens 08 Oct 03 - 03:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 03:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 04:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 09:35 PM
masato sakurai 08 Oct 03 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Q 08 Oct 03 - 11:44 PM
masato sakurai 09 Oct 03 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,Jenny 14 Jun 04 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,bcrow@siu.edu 17 May 06 - 04:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 May 06 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 06 - 10:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 06 - 04:08 PM
Tannywheeler 19 May 06 - 01:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 09 - 10:02 PM
Austin P 19 Feb 09 - 04:12 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 09 - 05:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 09 - 05:37 PM
Jim McLean 19 Feb 09 - 06:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 09 - 07:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Feb 09 - 08:39 PM
Austin P 19 Feb 09 - 10:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Feb 09 - 11:34 PM
Austin P 19 Feb 09 - 11:48 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Feb 09 - 05:07 PM
EBarnacle 20 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM
the lemonade lady 21 Feb 09 - 03:09 PM
Terry McDonald 21 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 09 - 08:03 PM
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Subject: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 16 May 00 - 10:07 AM

Hi there! I really appreciate all of the info posted concerning the history and origins of folk songs. Does anyone know the story behind "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean"? I know its Scottish and I was gyessing that ti might be a "code" song from the time of the Jacobite Rebellions. Any imput would be appreciated. Also, any other verses? Thanks! Tamara


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:21 PM

The musician and folklorist A.L. Lloyd had this to say about a song called My Barney, recorded by The Watersons on their album For Pence And Spicy Ale:

"A stage song favoured by Irish comedians from the 1860s on.  During the 1880s, apparantly on American University campuses, close-harmony groups remade it into the better-known -and even more preposterous- My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean.  (The) Watersons had this from Bob Davenport who learned it from a Frank Quinn 78."

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:49 PM

My Bonnie refers to Bonnie Prince Charlie who escaped to France to avoid the wrath of the English . Presumably this was sung by Flora McDonald who was his main squeeze.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 16 May 00 - 03:22 PM

I've seen this somewhere credited to an author and/or composer--but that doesn't mean much. It isn't a Scottish song; "bonnie", e.g., is widely used in the North of England. Can someone look this up in Fuld's book of World-Famous Music??


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 16 May 00 - 03:43 PM

Re; Murray's Request. Fuld, 1966, says it first appeared in Wm. H. Hills 'Student's Songs', 2nd ed (Jan. 15, 1881). It wasn't in the 1st edition of 1880. No composer or lyricist was given, and none is known.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 16 May 00 - 04:01 PM

Thanks to everyone who responded! Very diverse, as usual. Ickle Dorritt, I'm curious to know your where you found your info? Thanks again, Tamara


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 16 May 00 - 04:14 PM

to be honest I'm not sure, it was one of those songs that we learnt at school and its origins were explained at that time, although it would seem to make some sense. how true it is I would not like to say.Have tried to find out some more about it but so far no success.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 16 May 00 - 04:37 PM

now then, had a quick search and it appears that this may have been dedicated to Bonnie George (James) Campbell who died in the Battle of Glenlivet in 1564. see also child ballad #210. This means what my teachers told me was possibly not correct -my whole childhood has been a lie!


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 May 00 - 04:53 PM

Where did you find that?  At the moment, my money's still on Bert Lloyd's story, but I'd be interested in more info, too.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 16 May 00 - 06:59 PM

"My Barney" or "Bring back my Barney to me" is #1422 in Steve Roud's folksong index, where several traditional and songbook versions are cited (earliest songbook noted- 1872). In 'Sam Henry's Songs of the People', p. 290, the editors say that the song should not be confused with "Bring back my Bonnie to me".

It looks like a judgement call as to how the two songs are related. In my opinion: distantly- yes, closely- ?. So I can't say someone is right and someone is wrong.

"My Barney lies over the ocean", 1919, in the Levy sheet music collection could have been inspired by either.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 17 May 00 - 09:19 AM

Bruce O., Whew! What a relief! Thanks for your input. Blessings, Tamara


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 May 00 - 09:31 AM

for comparison: Barney as sung by the Watersons.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 May 00 - 09:34 AM

A.L. Lloyd's note to 'Barney' on the Watersons LP:
"A stage song favoured by Irish comedians from the 1860s on. During the 1880s, apparently on American University campuses, close harmony groups remade it in to the better-known?and even more preposterous?My Bonny lies over the ocean. Watersons had this from Bob Davenport who learnt it from a Frank Quinn 78."

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Ickle Dorritt (fedupwithlosinghercookieyet
Date: 17 May 00 - 03:39 PM

Malcolm www.contemplator.com


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Irish Rover
Date: 17 May 00 - 06:11 PM

My Bonnie lies in toronto. chuckle


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 17 May 00 - 10:52 PM

Irish Rover, that is the most respectable thing someone has ever said about me when it comes to making up their own verses for this song.

Little Bonnie


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 17 May 00 - 11:24 PM

Before this thread dies away completely, let me point out the song collected from the wonderful Cecilia Kelly Costello, traditional singer from Birmingham, England, (of Irish extraction): "Bring Back My Johnny to Me." It was published in 1953 in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. It was recorded by Isla Cameron on her Prestige Best of Isla Cameron and by Joe Hickerson on his first Folk-Legacy album, now available only as a cassette (but with the booklet of notes)- C-39. The relationship to "My Bonnie" may be a bit tenuous, but I suspect there is one. Mrs. Costello's song is in the DT. CLICK HERE. For the Folk-Legacy recording, CLICK HERE. If either of those clickies work, I'll be amazed!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 17 May 00 - 11:28 PM

I'm amazed!


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 May 00 - 09:12 PM

Ickle Dorrit: Maybe I'm just too tired, but I can't find any connection between "My Bonny" and "George Campbell" at Lesley's site.  I did eventually find a link to a brief discussion of "My Bonny" in the Ballads discussion list, where somebody suggested a link to the Young Pretender; without giving any evidence beyond hearsay, unfortunately.   (here).  Steve Roud's contribution,   here, seemed more convincing.  The Watersons' version of Barney (as pointed to by Wolfgang) and Cecilia Costello's Johnny (Sandy Paton's link) certainly appear to be the same song, though no tune is given with the DT entry.  The 1919 Barney that Bruce mentions is of course a parody, quoting just pieces of the familiar tune.   To confuse the issue further, there is another song at the Music for the Nation collection,  My Barney Is Out On The Sea, which appears to be an entirely different song (words Arthur N. French, music C. A. White; 1876) on the same theme, with a very Victorian Parlour feel to it.  Without any evidence, I'd guess that this may be a "spin-off" from the better-known song, written to cash in on its success?  This is getting interesting, and I do hope that somebody will be able to take us further!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 May 00 - 11:16 PM

Cecilia Costello' version, "My Johnny", is sung by her on an LP, Leader LEE 4054 (with 13 of her other songs also).


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 May 00 - 08:48 AM

I hate it if information is repeated as in my second post. SORRY.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: L R Mole
Date: 19 May 00 - 01:11 PM

I agree with the "My Barney" hypothesis but feel the song is in reality far older; my reference shelf seems to dispute over a stuffed purple dinosaur or one Mr. Rubble.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 19 May 00 - 03:04 PM

I'd like to know a bit more on if "My Bonnie" is English or Scottish. Every songbook that I have seen says Scot. and Alex Beaton (a great scottish folk-singer),jokes that when the English got a hold of it the song became "O How The Money Rolls In"!!! Tamara


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Scotsbard
Date: 19 May 00 - 04:40 PM

OK, thread drift warning ... but I've always been partial to the POGO version:

My Bonnie lye soda devotion,
My Bonnie lifesaver DC,
McBoniface and Rover commotion,
Oh, bricbrat Mahoney to me.

(cho)
Bric-brat, Bric-a-brat,
Oh, bricbrat Mahoney to me, Toomee.
etc.

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 May 00 - 04:48 PM

And from my son'd third grade class"

My Bonnie has appendicitis
My Bonnie has disease of the gums
She spits up those slimy green oysters
And rolls them around on her tongue.

The "folk process" in action.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 May 00 - 09:48 PM

Is it English or Scottish?  So far, Tamara, we haven't been able to establish that it isn't American!  It certainly is one of the most-parodied songs you could hope to find, though these parodies all seem to have originated no earlier than the turn of the century, and I'm guessing (without documented evidence for or against) that song and tune both came to the UK from America.  Until somebody finds real evidence of the song -Barney or Bonny- existing anywhere at all before the 1870s, I think that we have to assume that.  Incidentally, Cecilia Costello's My Johnny, which Bruce mentions earlier (Leader Records LEA 4054), doesn't appear on the track-listing in the Leader Records Discography at  Leader Records Discography  (Please tell them if they're wrong, Bruce!  They'll be glad to know.)   There is a recording available on one of Peter Kennedy's Folktracks cassettes, though: The Greenwood Side-I-O (Cecilia Costello and Sam Bennett) where it is called My Barney (lies over the ocean)....

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 20 May 00 - 12:42 AM

There seem to be two missing from the Leader discography, but I'm not at home at present to check on it. I know Cecelia Costello's song is there. I listened to it today. Her lyrics are also printed on the brochure that came with the record. (The songs were obtained from the BBC archives recordings.) What we haven't had yet is a tune comparison. This is frequently the clincher as to whether a song is really based an another, or whether it just borrowed a few lines from it.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 20 May 00 - 02:21 PM

The leader discography above of Cecelia Costello's songs on LEE (not LEA) 4054 is missing "My Johnny" as the last on side A after "The Handsome Cabin Boy", and "The Frog and the Mouse" the first on side B.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 12:12 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has this entry.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 02:14 PM

Scots bard, Sinsull ever notice when one places tounge in cheek the serious threaders all ignore you?

I thought the Pogo versions was:

"My body lice sober devotion My body lice sober DC etc."

I have all the pogo books somewhere (unless one of my children have absconded with them, they've gotten my JRR Tolkein boxed sets and my personal copies of Nosferatu. I believe they think they are helping themselves to avoid the 'death tax') I'll see if I can find the episode with "My Body Lice Sober Devotion" in it.

CB


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Louie Roy
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 02:24 PM

ADD MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN
I POSTED THIS IN ANOTHER THREAD AND THE INFO I HAVE LISTS THIS AS A SCOTCH TUNE DATED 1880 WITHOUT THE AUTHORS NAME AND THESE ARE THE ORIGINAL LYRICS

MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN,BR. MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE SEA
MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEANS
O! BRING BACK MY BONNIE TO ME
CHORUS
BRING BACK BRING BACK O!
BRING BACK MY BONNIE TO ME TO ME
BRING BACK O! BRING BACK
O! BRING BACK MY BONNIE TO ME

LAST NIGHT AS I LAY ON MY PILLOW
LAST NIGHT AS I LAY ON MY BED
LAST NIGHT AS I LAY ON MY PILLOW
I DREAMT THAT MY BONNIE WAS DEAD
CHORUS
THE WINDS HAVE BLOWN OVER THE OCEAN
THE WINDS HAVE BLOWN OVER THE SEA
THE WINDS HAVE BLOWN OVER THE OCEAN
AND BROUGHT BACK MY BONNIE TO ME
CHORUS


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 10:05 PM

What we need to know now is where your information came from.  As Bruce mentioned earlier in this thread, the earliest known printed version of this song is of 1881; Barney, to which it is clearly related, being apparently earlier.  It would appear that no author has ever been identified for either song, and there is no evidence that My Bonnie is in any way Scottish.  At this stage I see no reason to think that it was not an American composition, perhaps based on a vaudeville "Stage Irish" Barney.

I would certainly be very interested to see any verifiable information about its origins, as I'm sure would a great many people; it's not an interesting song textually or musically, but it's so widely known that we really ought to know more about it.  The trouble is that so many people simply accept uncritically the myths about it (if it's a Jacobite song, for example, then I'm Atilla the Hun) and repeat hearsay as fact.

Toadfrog has now posted a set of lyrics for My Barney in the more recent thread:  BARNEY

It may be helpful to look at them for purposes of comparison, though of course there is no guarantee that they have not at some point been mixed with the better-known song.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 10:52 PM

FWIW, the tune is used for La Lingvo por Ni, one of the most widely known Esperanto-movement songs.

Also I've got a few parodies of it in English on my website; nothing original.

Liland


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Chris Amos
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 02:32 AM

My mother used to sing me to sleep with this song in the 1950's, most people I know from that era report the same thing. I don't know if this is a late example of the "folk process" or if all these mothers obtained it from some popular commericial source. Allmy friends seem to have kept up the tradition and sung it to their children.

Chris


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,django
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 03:21 PM

I remember being sung to sleep by my godfather with "My Bonnie", complete with ukulele accompaniment. This was in the late 1950s, in Hamburg, Germany, which, along with Chris Amos' post, leads me to believe that there must have been a popular recorded version in the 50s. That the song has music-hall roots surely seems more likely than the Jacobite theory.

Django


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 08:08 PM

The song was popular in the 1930s as well as the 1950s, sung in primary school and in scout gatherings, especially the parodies. Its continuing popularity needs not have been bolstered by any particular recording since everyone already knew it. Sinsul, your son's parody was one of those we sang; I remember the green oysters. My grandfather sang it; so it was in the western repetoire at the end of the 19th C. and parodies were sung by my father who was in WW1.
None of this helps with the origin, however.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 08:33 PM

The Sullaway Collection of sheet music, Univ. New Hampshire, has in its collection sheet music of My Barney Lies Over the Ocean, 1918, composer, lyricist and performer, Byron Gay, Sunset Pub. Co. I guess this could be called a "cover."


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 09:02 PM

Then there is the old, old version by that oldest living Roman, Marc Moskowitz:

Carthago est Trans Mare Nostrum

Carthago est trans mare nostrum,
Carthago vastavit bellis,
Carthago est trans mare nostrum,
Delenda Carhago nobis.
Delenda, delenda, delenda Carthago nobis, nobis,
Delenda, delenda, delenda Carthago nobis.
et cetera
et cetera
ad nauseum.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 09:16 PM

William Allen White, in his newspaper column, "The Real Issue," 1896, writes of the song being sung on the prairie and of its calming effect. This may be the oldest reference to its presence in the western states.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 07:08 AM

"My Bonnie" is in The Scottish Students' Song Book (London & Glasgow: Bayley & Ferguson, 1891, 1897, pp. 168; with music), where the first 2 lines are: "My Bonnie is over the ocean, / My Bonnie is over the sea." Other college songbooks (The Most Popular College Songs, New York: Hinds, Hayden & Eldredge, 1904, 1906, p. 9 [title: "My Bonnie"]; and Carmina Princetonia: The Princeton Song Book, 21st ed., New York: G Shirmer, 1927, p. 133 [title: "Bonnie"]) have the familiar "My Bonnie lies over the ocean" line (both with music).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: waterdragon
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 10:40 AM

Check out Laura Smiths version of 'My Bonnie' on the Cheiftains 'Fire in the Kitchen' CD,no-09026631332.A lovely version,subtly different from any other I have heard.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 12:38 PM

Didn't the Beatles record it in Hamburg with Tony Sheridan back in the early 60s?


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Heidi, Denmark
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 01:18 PM

I was looking for some information about this song....... but now I am totally confused. In my little Irish songbook I have this song and it says that is was written i Ireland in 1882 by Charles E. Pratt.
    Hmmmm!!!


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 01:46 PM

And the school favorite parody, "My gawd, how the money rolls in!"

Charles E. Pratt composed "Put My Little Shoes Away," popular in the late 1800s. I thought he was American??

See this site, which may be fakelore: My Bonnie

"Orig. a Scottish folk song, pub. under the pseud. J. T. Woods (words) and H. J. Fulmer (music). The composer's real name is Charles E. Pratt." "Pub. 1881."
NO supporting evidence given.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 01:58 PM

The song has an uncanny resemblance to "My Bonnie Sweet Lassie," by Thomas P. Westendorf, 1880, in American Memory as American Sheet Music. Leave off the chorus, and the words may be sung to the same tune.
Is this the parent?


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 02:59 PM

Lyr. Add: MY FATHER WAS HUNG

My father was hung for a horse thief,
My mother was bunt for a witch,
I've got five sisters more in the whorehouse,
And myself I'm a son of a bitch!

Oh! All gone! All gone!
The Devil it matters to you, and you!
All gone! All gone!
And they left me some fucking to do.

Learned in Arkansas "by a young Mormon woman." From Randolph, ed. G. Legman, "Roll Me In Your Arms," #45, pp. 191-195.

Reference is made to "the underlying Scottish original first given in Thomson's "Orpheus Caledonius" (1733), vol. 1, pp. 69-70, as "My Daddy's a Delver of Dykes," with tune." They goes on to say that the song is still sung among Scottish Gypsies, (Little) Gypsy Maid...


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:04 PM

This song is taught to French children as part of learning English. I wonder how long this has been going on, and if that might shed any light on long the song has been popular? Anyone know anything of this?


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:18 PM

The song has been popular in the States since the 1880s in eastern schools and at least since 1900 everywhere else.

Apparently the Scottish antecedents made little impression in North America; perhaps because these originals were bawdy they did not enter polite society. The song didn't become popular until the 1880s clean version.
Use in teaching French prob. 20th c.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 04:10 PM

Ed Cray, "The Erotic Muse," has the words- or at least part of them- to the song in Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius, 1733:

My daddy's a delver of dykes,
My minny can card and spin,
And I'm a bonny young lass,
And the siller comes linkin in.
The siller comes linkin in,
And it is fou [sic], fair to see,
And it's woe, wow, wow,
What ails the lads at me?

Of course this doesn't help with the origin of the popular lyrics to "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean." There is nothing yet to disprove its American origin. Cray says a DeMarsan broadside and others may take credit for the song's wide currency in the States.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM

See also the DT file  HABEN A BOO AND A BANNER. For some bizarre reason, somebody has decided to re-classify this as "Irish", though Bruce Olson, who originally posted it, made it clear that it was Scots.

Also  Lyr Req: Nobody comin' to marry me

A text, Slighted Nansy, appeared in A Collection of Old Ballads (1725); slightly before Orpheus Caledonius, but of course without a tune, as also are the two above.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 09:35 PM

In Randolph (edit. Legman), "Roll Me In Your Arms," pp. 192-193, a version recorded by Hamish Henderson, from the singing of the Scottish Gypsy ballad singer, Mrs. Jeanie Robertson is somewhat different from "Haben a Boo and a Banner" in the DT. It is quoted in the section "My Father was Hung" rather under the nonsense chorus line, Wi' Ma-hamet Abu an' a Banna, which Henderson suggested was sung by soldiers who had served in the Middle East, as a replacement for part of the ri-too-rally type of refrain.

My father was hung for sheep-stealing,
My mother was burned for a witch,
And my sister's a bawdy-hoos' keeper,
And mysel' (I'm just) a son-of-a-bitch.

My granny began a-fartin' and pissin',
And we'll hae a fud at the (word missing)
An' my sister come doon the stair drettin'(1),
An' the de'il put a cork in her airse.

As I was walkin' doon the streets of London,
I met a young girl in the face (2),
And I asked her if she'd take some company,
And I tickled her right in the place(3).

When I had a shop down in London,
A young lady came into my shop,
She asked for three yards of my linen,
I said I gie her three yards of my cock.

But when I was a cobbler in Dublin,
And up to my knees amang snaw,
For the de'il took a hud(4) of my bollocks
And swore he'd rug them awa'.

For I have a cock like a cuddy(5)
And bollocks a' mounted with brass,
I could ride all the whores of damnation,
And rattle my ba's at their airse.

Wi' Ma-hamet Abu an' a banna
Wi' Ma-hamet Abu and a bey.
Wi' Ma-hamet Abu and a banna,
Rit-too-ral-aye ooral ay-aye.

1) shitting, 2) face-to-face, 3) in the perineum, 4)a hold,
5) jackass.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 11:31 PM

Listen to the Beatles with Tony Sheridan version [Real Audio] here.


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 11:44 PM

Masato, the site tells me that I need to download Japanese text support (some four minutes)- is it safe?


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:52 AM

GUEST,Q, that seems to be a streaming link. I can't save it on my PC.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' History?
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 04:39 AM

French musicians here in SW France play this tune for dances and call it "English Waltz"... Is there any name for the tune other than 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: GUEST,bcrow@siu.edu
Date: 17 May 06 - 04:32 PM

Don't forget the 20th century British song to the same tune, listed in Digital Tradition as "Shine Your Buttons with Brasso," from a Roberts & Barrand album.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 May 06 - 05:01 PM

A favorite in the Army was:

My brother lies over the ocean
My sister lies over the sea
My father lies over my mother
And that's how they got little me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 06 - 10:50 AM

Merely using the word "bonnie" doesn't guarantee that a song is Scottish. My grandfather, born in 1880 in Berlin, Wisconsin, had the nickname Bun because his mother pronounced him "a bonnie baby" and his brothers thought she had said "bunny."


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 06 - 04:08 PM

Can anyone provide the full lyrics of "My Daddy's a Delver of Dykes" 1733, Orpheus Caledonius? As noted previously, only one verse is given in Cray.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 19 May 06 - 01:01 PM

Other parody(incomplete):
"My bonny lies over the ocean;
She also lies when she's at home.
Of truth she has never a notion;
(something, dah-dah-dah, duhduh.)"
Talk about memory playing tricks...........Tw


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Mein Bonnie ist fern von der Heimat
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:02 PM

MEIN BONNIE IST FERN VON DER HEIMAT

1
Mein Bonnie ist fern von der Heimat;
Mein Bonnie ist weit auf dem Meer.
Ihr Winde und wogenden Wasser
Oh, bringt ihn mir heil wieder her!

Refrain
Bonnie! Bonnie!
Oh, fahr' mit dem Glück übers weite Meer!
Bonnie, Bonnie!
Oh, kehr' mir nur heil wieder her!

und/oder
Bonnie, Bonnie!
Du fuhrst mit dem Glück übers weite Meer;
Bonnie, Bonnie!
Drum kamst du auch heil wieder her.

und/oder
Einmal, einmal
Endet bei dir meine Reise.
Einmal, einmal
Sag'ich dir nicht mehr adieu.

2
Ich träumte heut' nacht von mein'm Bonnie;
Die Wellen ergriffen sein Boot.
Sei vorsichtig, Bonnie, sonst bist du
Vor Ende des Liedes schon tot!
3
Noch ehe ein Jahr war vergangen,
Da lachte uns beiden das Glück.
Die Winde und wogenden Wasser,
Die brachten mir Bonnie zurück.
4
Mein Bonnie, der ist ein Matrose.
Wir sah'n uns schon lange nicht mehr.
Er gab mir zum Abschied drei Rosen
Und sprach: "Mädel, wein' nicht so sehr!
5
Mein Bonnie schrieb neulich von Boston;
Ein Foto von ihn war dabei.
"Ob Westen, ob Süden, ob Osten,"
So schrieb er, "Ich bleibe dir treu!"
6
Mein Bonnie kann fest auf mich bauen,
Ist oft das Alleinsein auch schwer.
Ich weiß ja, ich kann ihm vertrauen;
Er liebt mich ja mehr als das Meer.

Mein Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Austin P
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:12 PM

From The vocal miscellany 3rd ed. London 1738 pp 214

Have You Heard

I once was a Poet at London,
I kept my Heart still full of Glee;
There's no Man' can say that I'm undone,
For begging's no new Trade to me.
Tol derol, &c.

I once was an Attorney at Law,
And after a Knight of the Post:
Give me a brisk Wench in clean Straw,
And I value not who rules the Roast.
Tol derol, &c.

Make room for a Soldier in Buff,
Who valiantly strutted about,
Till he fancy'd the Peace breaking off,
And then he most wisely-sold out.
Tol derol, &c.

Here comes a Courtier polite, Sir,
Who flatter'd my Lord to his Face;
Now railing is all his Delight, Sir,
Because he miss'd getting a Place,
Tol derol, &c.

I still am a merry Gut-Scraper,
My Heart never yet felt a Qualm;
Tho' poor, I can frolick and vapour,
And sing any Tune, but a Psalm.
Tol derol, &c

I was a fanatical Preacher,
I turn'd up my Eyes when I pray'd;
But my Hearers half starved their Teacher,
For they believ'd not one Word that I said.
Tol derol, &c

Whoe'er would be merry and free,
Let him list, and from us he may learn:
In Palaces who shall you see,
Half so happy as we in a Barn?
Tol derol, &c.

AP


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:22 PM

Sorry to come in so late on this one, Malcolm, but I only found out last year. It is yet another of good old Harry Clifton's from the 1860's, title 'Send back my Barney to me', more or less in the form the Watersons sing. I have a copy of the original sheet music. It came up on Ebay last year and finished up above my final bid but I contacted the winner and he very kindly sent me a photocopy.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: I Once Was a Rakish Young Fellow
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:37 PM

Very good! Has that collection been put on line?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:01 PM

I'm sure Q now has the rest of the lyrics of My Daddy's a Delver of Dykes as requested way back but just in case, this is the other verse as printed in the Orpheus Caledonius:

But now the Carlin's dead,
And I'll do what I can,
And I'll do what i can;
Wi' my twenty Pound and my Cow;
But wow it's an uco' thing,
That na body comes to woe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:51 PM

Nooo, but I do have a convergence of a Bonnie antecedent and Tarpaulin Jacket, which I am posting in that thread, 16016. Tarpaulin


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:39 PM

He gets everywhere, that Harry Clifton. Thanks, Steve. I take it that the melody as printed is much as the Watersons had it? Back in 2000 when this thread started out, few of us had access to the Roud Index and a lot of leads didn't get followed up; later on it moved onto 'My daddy's a delver of dykes' and the like, and I thought no more about it until it popped up a few hours ago. Seeing that 'Austin P' had followed Q's addition of a translation into German with what seems (unless I have missed something) to be a puzzling non sequitur, your comments came in the nick of time.

Although we still don't know who wrote 'My Bonnie', nailing down 'My Barney' should dispose of much of the wild guessing and modern myths. 'Barney' doesn't seem to be in the BL catalogue or in COPAC. A short summary might be useful at this point.
c.1860: 'Send Back My Barney to Me' written and published by Harry Clifton.

The song is quickly taken up by other performers in Britain and America. In the USA in particular it is 'favoured by Irish comedians' and is printed on broadsides and in songsters, frequently uncredited to Clifton and instead assumed to be, or claimed as, Irish.

By 1881 an adaptation or parody, with the tune a bit changed, begins to appear in print as 'My Bonnie'. It seems to have started out as a student song, most likely in America; a song-sheet issued in 1882 by Harms of New York as 'Bring Back My Bonnie to Me' credits it to H J Fulmer (Charles E Pratt) and J T Woods, but the text is reputedly rather different and no conclusions can be drawn without seeing both words and music. Evidently 'Barney' and 'Bonnie' continue alongside each other for a time, with other songs being written that appear to have been inspired by them; or at any rate by the former.

By the early C20, 'My Bonnie' has eclipsed its parent, which is largely forgotten. The song's enormous popularity leads to further parodies and to the tune being adopted for other songs in the same metre like 'My father was hung for sheep-stealing'. This leads even some scholars to assume that the tune is Scottish.

The general public don't need to 'deduce', of course; to them it is not only patently obvious that any song with the word 'bonnie' in it must be Scottish, but also that, if the sea is mentioned as well, it must be about 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. The more inventive may go for a less hackneyed option like 'Bonnie George Campbell', but with an equal lack of backup.

To stray again back to 'My Daddy's a Delver of Dykes', I mentioned a few years ago that another text had appeared prior to Orpheus Caledonius. Here it is.


Slighted NANSY.

To the Tune of The Kirk wad let me be.


"Tis I have seven braw new Gowns,
And ither seven better to mak,
And yet for a' my new Gowns,
My Wooer has turn'd his Back.
Besides I have feven Milk Ky,
And Sandy he has but three;
And yet for a' my good Ky,
The Laddie winna ha'e me.

My Dady's a Delver of Dikes,
My Mither can Card and Spin,
And I am a fine sodgel Lass,
And the Siller comes linkin in,
The Siller comes linkin in,
And it is sou fair to see,
And fifty Times wow! O wow!
What ails the Lads at me.

When ever our Bauty does bork,
Then saft to the Door I rin,
To see gin ony young Spark
Will light and venture but in:
But never a ane will come in,
Tho' mony a ane gaes by,
Syne far Ben the House I rin,
And a weary Wight am I.

When I was at my first Pray'rs,
I pray'd but anes i'the Year,
I wish'd for a handsome young Lad,
And a Lad with muckle Gear.
When I was at my neist Prayers,
I pray'd but now and than,
I fash'd na my Head about Gear,
If I gat a handsome young Man.

Now when I'm at my last Prayers,
I pray on baith Night and Day,
And O if a Beggar wad come,
With that same Beggar I'd gae.
And O and what'll come o'me,
And O and what'll I do,
That sic a braw Lassie as I
Shou'd die for a Wooer I trow.


Ambrose Philips [?], A Collection of Old Ballads. Corrected from the best and most Ancient Copies Extant. With Introductions Historical and Critical. London: J Roberts, vol III, 1725. Song 50, pp 249-250. Various facsimile copies can be seen at the Internet Archive:  A Collection of Old Ballads.

The prescribed tune, 'The Kirk wad let me be', bears no resemblance to either 'Barney' or 'Bonnie'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Austin P
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:01 PM

Malcolm:

... "to be a puzzling non sequitur"

My explanation text got lost in the cut and paste:

The verse form of some comic songs that used to have seperate tunes sometimes are now sung to 'My Bonnie' (i.e. the verses fit) ... These include a lot of bawdy ones such as 'The Sexual Life of The Camel' and so on.

It's on of those tunes that a lot of songs fit to!
The text I pasted is a song I found recently, as an example.

The tune seems closely related to 'Dick Derby" (you know the one ...)

My Name is Dick Derby I'm a cobbler
My time have served down in Kent
Some say I'm an old fornicator
But now I'm resolved to repent ...

but which tune came first I cannot say.

Hope this is less gnomic.

AP
(working late when the internet actually works quickly).


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:34 PM

Thanks, Austin. With the accompanying comments missing I was entirely baffled by the song's appearance in this discussion. It's a new one on me, though I'm familiar enough with the others you mention. Where did you get those words? Do you mean that you've heard them sung to a 'Dick Derby' tune?

'Have You Heard' can be found online in several places nowadays, but I don't think that The Vocal Miscellany itself is available, is it? The song was in the ballad-opera Jovial Crew (1731) set to the 18th century tune of 'My Name Is Old Hewson the Cobler', but that bears no particular resemblance to 'Barney' or 'Bonnie'.

See the late Bruce Olson's comments in thread  Lyrics Needed: Song about a Tinker for more on early appearances of text and tune. That's 'Hewson', though, not 'Bonnie'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Austin P
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:48 PM

Malcolm - I found the words some time ago but didn't have the tune, someone told me to try 'Dick Darby' (probably a half remembered reference to a cobbler in the tune title, and at the same time we had a converstaion about 'my bonnie' and the similarity to Dick darby. I'll look up hewson ...

Seeing this thread prompted the memory. Vocal Miscellany is not available in reprint, be nice if it was ...

AP

Apropos of verse-metre forms crossing over tunes I remember in my callow youth singing 'My old man's a Dustman' to the tune of "The White Cockade". Always good for a laugh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 05:07 PM

Malcolm,
A lot of HC's songs were pirated in America by Tony Pastor. See the Levy website. Pastor altered a few words in most cases and claimed them as his own.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM

My Bonny lies over the ocean,
My Bonny lies over the sea;
My Bonny lies under a sailor,
Oh, Bring back my Bonny to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM

My one skin hangs down to my two skin,
my two skin hangs down to my three,
My three skin hangs down to my .....
My .......... hangs down to my knee.
         Peel back, peel back, oh peel back my .........for me for me,
         Peel back, peel back oh peel back my .........for me!
My father's a lavat'ry cleaner,
He works hard from morning till night,
And when he comes home in the evening
He's covered all over in..
       Sweet violets, sweeter than all the roses (own tune)
       Covered all over from head to foot in sweet violets!
(There were lots more verses...one ...)
If I had the balls of a stallion,
If I had the ...
I would stand on the edge of creation
And p''s on the b''''''ds below.
(I might have confused two verses there.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 03:09 PM

Better than her lying on your door step! If she's telling lies let her stay there


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM

My father's a bawdy-house keeper
My mother brews illicit gin
My sister sells kisses to sailors,
My God how the money rolls in.............


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 08:03 PM

My bonnet lies over my barnet
My barnet lies over my bonce
My bonce is as smooth as a mirror
This wig makes me look such a ponce!

With apologies to the follically challenged.


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