Lyr Add: Pretty Polly (#311)
PRETTY POLLY (2)
THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER
THE GHOST SONG
THE SHIP'S CARPENTER
(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 Req: Little Molly / Pretty Polly / etc. (5)
Info Req: Polly's Love (Waterson-Carthy) (6)
Subject: The Ghost Song (#311)^^^|
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:22 PM
Already sent to 1/17/99 - may not need to be harvested.
THE GHOST SONG^^^
Now the queen, she wants sailors to sail on the sea,
But 'twas early the next morning, before it was day,
So he led her through groves and through valleys so deep,
Oh, yes, dearest Polly, 'tis true all you've said.
Oh pardon, dear William, my innocent life
But no pardon, no pardon, no pardon I'll give.[Pardon a digression but I'm always struck at just how dumb
And with that he drew out the long dagger-knife;
He stabbed her to the heart and the blood did down-flow,
And into the grave, fast, her body did throw.
Now, he carried her securely, and up all quite sound,
But 'twas early one morning, before it was day,
Then up jumped one sailor and, "Indeed, it's not me."
Then he hastened to the forecastle with speed,
Also called "The Ghost Song" or "Molly and the Sailor," from the singing of the late Peter Bellamy. His source was the source singer, fisherman Sam Larner of Norfolk. See an older, longer version, "The Gosport Tragedy" (probably about 1680) at DT filename [shipcarp for its most common title "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter" ('Cruel' is often omitted.)
Child does not report this but it's often been reported and Broadsided all over Britain. Sharp found 21 Appalachian versions; his 'B' is very similar to Bellamy's. In spite of expectations, Sharp reports Appalachian versions that retain both mystic elements: the return of the ghost and the Jonah motif. (This refers to the truism that American versions of European songs tend to drop any mystical elements as in "The Daemon Lover" / "House Carpenter." They tend to but don't invariably. Nevertheless, the more modern "Pretty Polly" variants rarely includes the ghost.
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly (#311)|
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 04:14 PM
I had intended to post a list of links last time there was a discussion of this song, but evidently didn't get around to it. Here, then:
In the Forum:
In the DT:
THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER Described as "transcribed from the singing of Mike Waterson"; with tune.
There are two main entries at The Traditional Ballad Index
Several examples can be seen, and heard, 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.
The Gosport Tragedy or, The Perjured Ship-Carpenter No date. Printed and Sold at the Printing Office in Stonecutter Street, Fleet Market .
There are several 19th century broadside examples of the later version; they vary very little. 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.