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Lyr Req: Little Molly / Pretty Polly / etc.

DigiTrad:
PRETTY POLLY (2)
THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER
THE GHOST SONG
THE SHIP'S CARPENTER


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Gosport Tragedy/ Cruel Ship's Carpenter (183)
Lyr Req:Pretty Polly (from The Dillards) (8)
pretty polly - Cruel Ship's Carpenter? (14)
Lyr Req: Pretty Polly? (26)
Lyr/Chords Req: Pretty Polly (Stanley Brothers) (14)
Lyr/Chords Add: Pretty Polly (5)
Lyr Req: Pretty Polly / lost verse (19)
Lyr Add: Pretty Polly (#311) (2)
Info Req: Polly's Love (Waterson-Carthy) (6)


GUEST,Jenny 17 Sep 01 - 12:01 PM
marymarymary 17 Sep 01 - 12:27 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 01 - 12:49 PM
marymarymary 17 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Sep 01 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: Looking for song 'Lil Mollie'
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 12:01 PM

Hi, I am looking for the words to a song called "Lil Mollie", It's about a man who sleeps with ihs girlfriend then he kills her so that no noe will find out. Thanks for your help.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE MOLLY
From: marymarymary
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 12:27 PM

Ooh! Ooh! I finally know one of the songs someone is asking about... maybe. I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but "Little Molly" sorta fits as far as the subject goes, and when you actually sing it, "little" could get shortened to "li'l". On the other hand, I am a newbie and never heard of but a tiny fraction of the songs people talk about here, so there could well be some famous song called "Lil Mollie" that I never heard of -- but I'm so excited to finally know all the words to a song someone is asking about, that I'm going to post it anyway because I might never get another chance to sound all knowledgable 'n' stuff :)

Little Molly
There used to be a rover, he courted all around
There used to be a rover, he courted all around
He courted little Molly and her grave's never been found.

Little Molly, little Molly, come and go along with me
Little Molly, little Molly, come and go along with me
Before we get married, some pleasure for to see

Oh, Willie, oh, Willie, I'm afraid of your ways
Willie, oh, Willie! I'm afraid of your ways
I'm afraid you will lead my poor body astray

Molly, little Molly, you guessed just right
Molly, little Molly, you guessed just right
For I've dug on your grave the best part of last night

Willie, oh Willie, you fill my heart with fear
Willie, oh Willie, you fill my heart with fear
How can you mean harm to your own Molly dear?

Over the hills and the mountains they ride
Over the hills and the mountains they ride
And he took little Molly, and lay her by his side

Then he stabbed her in the heart and her heart's blood did flow
He stabbed her in the heart and her heart's blood did flow
And into the grave little Molly did go

He buried her deep and he strowed(?) the grave with thorns
He buried her deep and he strowed the grave with thorns
And left no one behind but the wild birds to mourn

Now a debt to the devil Willie must pay
A debt to the devil Willie must pay
For killing little Molly and hiding her away


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for song 'Lil Mollie'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 12:49 PM

I don't think the Digital Tradition has a song that's quite like this one, but I wondered if people could take a look and give me an opinion. The more common version of this song is "pretty polly." If you put pretty polly in the Digitrad and Forum Search, you'll find several versions.

I'm wondering if I should harvest this for the database. The names are different, but do we have versions that are otherwise the same?

Where'd you get your version, marymarymary? I like it.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for song 'Lil Mollie'
From: marymarymary
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM

When I was little, the woman who took care of us when my parents were at work used to sing it. She was an older lady, and we kids were all terrified of her, but she was the only woman around who would babysit that many kids until midnight every night.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for song 'Lil Mollie'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 02:18 PM

Worth harvesting, I'd say, if we can get a tune.  Dylan apparantly recorded a similar set, but so far as I know acknowledged no source.

Polly's Love is also known as The Cruel Ship's Carpenter, The Gosport Tragedy, and so on.

In the Forum:

Polly's Love (Waterson-Carthy)  Two texts are given; Polly's Love, transcribed from a Watersons record; they learnt it from Jim Eldon, who got it from an unspecified singer in the West Riding of Yorkshire; and The Dreadful Ghost, from a record by Barrand and Roberts.  No traditional source is mentioned in the thread for the latter , but the sleevenotes of the record state that it is a Canadian set, "collected by Helen Creighton in the Maritimes, collated with Peacock's Newfoundland texts".  Also some useful information from Bruce Olson.  Steve Roud assigns both songs the same index number, but the two branches have grown apart over the years, and are often considered separately.

In the DT:

THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER  With tune; "from the singing of Mike Waterson"; no traditional source named.
PRETTY POLLY (2)  With tune; American set from Dock Boggs.
THE SHIP'S CARPENTER  With tune; from the Penguin Book of Canada Folk Songs, Fowke. Noted from Leo Spencer, 1962.

There are two entries at  The Traditional Ballad Index

Cruel Ship's Carpenter, The (The Gosport Tragedy; Pretty Polly)  [Laws P36A/B]
Pretty Polly (II)  [cf. Laws P36]

Examples, with audio files, at  The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

Pretty Polly Come Go Along With Me  As sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on June 25, 1969.

Molly Girl  As sung by Mrs. Ed Newton, Gainesville, Missouri on June 10, 1958.

Pretty Polly  As sung by Harrison Burnett, Fayetteville, Arkansas on August 18, 1960.

Pretty Polly  As sung by Sara Jo Bell, Harrison, Arkansas on August 25, 1969.

Broadside editions at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Gosport tragedy: or, The perjured ship-carpenter  To the tune of: Peggy's gone over the sea. Printed and Sold at the Printing Office in Stonecutter Street, Fleet Market; no date.

The Gosport tragedy; or, the Perjured ship carpenter  Printed between 1797 and 1846 by J. Turner, High Street, Coventry.

There are a number of editions from various printers of Polly's Love; here is one:

Polly's love, or, the cruel ship carpenter  Printed between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Toy & Marble Warehouse 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials (London).

These are large images.


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