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Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?

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/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)
Lyr Req: Little Molly / Pretty Polly / etc. (5)
Info Req: Polly's Love (Waterson-Carthy) (6)


GUEST 01 Feb 06 - 05:54 AM
Nick 01 Feb 06 - 06:50 AM
Grab 01 Feb 06 - 07:51 AM
Pinetop Slim 01 Feb 06 - 09:57 AM
Duke 01 Feb 06 - 10:05 AM
Goose Gander 01 Feb 06 - 12:24 PM
Tradsinger 01 Feb 06 - 05:23 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Feb 06 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Scoville at work (sort of) 02 Feb 06 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,J.C. 03 Feb 06 - 03:28 AM
GUEST 03 Feb 06 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 04 Feb 06 - 08:00 PM
Goose Gander 04 Feb 06 - 08:56 PM
Abby Sale 05 Feb 06 - 11:23 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 07 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Kevin Rietmann 20 Feb 07 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 20 Feb 07 - 07:55 AM
Goose Gander 13 Nov 08 - 11:47 PM
pavane 14 Nov 08 - 03:24 AM
RTim 14 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Arnie Naiman 14 Nov 08 - 02:44 PM
Richie 11 Jan 10 - 11:22 AM
Richie 12 Jan 10 - 10:11 AM
Richie 15 Jan 10 - 01:50 AM
The Sandman 15 Jan 10 - 07:10 PM
Richie 15 Jan 10 - 09:44 PM
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Subject: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 05:54 AM

I was just wondering...does anyone know this. I was looking at the lyrics to "Pretty Polly" as found on this website. Isn't there another one out there about some guy named Willie who stabs her to death (Okay, that's common in folk songs, but I'm SURE I saw it)???


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Nick
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 06:50 AM

I think Judy Collins sings it on 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes' album. Definitely some 'stabbed her to the heart' and 'Willie O Willie' lines in it

Something like

Polly Pretty Polly come go along with me
Polly Pretty Polly come go along with me
Before we get married some pleasure to see

etc etc


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Grab
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 07:51 AM

Try searching Google for "polly pretty polly". Plenty of hits on lyrics sites.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:57 AM

There's at least one version with a verse:
Willie, oh Willie, I'm afraid of your ways (2c)
Afraid you will lead my poor body astray


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Duke
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:05 AM

You might want to check out, "Omie Wise". I seem to recall it was similar to Pretty Polly.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY MOLLY
From: Goose Gander
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:24 PM

It appears as
Pretty Molly
in
Voices From the Dust Bowl

PRETTY MOLLY

Pauline Ramsay
Visalia, 1941

Pretty Molly, Pretty Molly
Come go along with me
Before we get married
Some friends for to see

He lead her o'er hollers
And valleys so deep
At last Pretty Molly
Began for to weep

Sweet William, sweet William
Yore leading me astray
An innocent love
You shall betray

Pretty Molly, pretty Molly
Yore guessin' jest right
For I dug at yore grave
One half of last night

Stand back, stand back
No time, to stand
And innocent he stood
With a big knife in his hand

He stabbed her to the heart
And her blood it did flow
And into her grave
Her body did go

Now ladymens and gentlemens
I bid you do right
For Gray was distracted
And died the same night


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 05:23 PM

Check out the English song "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter" which is the origin of this song, but with a creepy supernatural ending.

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 05:45 PM

There is more than one "Pretty Polly" here. There are several; it's a very common phrase, and song title. See the DT file

PRETTY POLLY (2)

... this includes links to various related files and Forum discussions. Many concern the ancestral Cruel Ships Carpenter, which Gwilym has already mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST,Scoville at work (sort of)
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 11:03 AM

I used to sing a version that had eighteen verses but I can't remember them all and it's been pared down to this (based mostly on the Stanley Brothers version but tweaked a bit from other sources). Sing the first line twice and then the third line once:

"Polly, pretty Polly, come and go along with me,
Polly, pretty Polly, come and go along with me,
Before we get married, some pleasure to see."

Led her over mountains and valleys so deep . . .
Polly mistrusted him and then began to weep.

"Willie, oh, Willie, I'm afraid of your ways, . . .
The way you been rambling, gonna lead me astray."

"Polly, pretty Polly, your guess is about right . . .
I dug on your grave the biggest part of last night."

Led her on further and what did she spy?
But a newly-dug grave with a spade lying by.

She knelt down before him, a-pleading for her life,
"Let me go rejected if I cannot be your wife."

"Polly, pretty Polly, that never can be,
Your past reputation's been trouble to me."

Stabbed her through the breast and her heart's blood did flow,
And into the grave pretty Polly did go.

Threw some dirt o'er her and started for home,
Leaving no-one behind but the wild birds to mourn.

They met him on the mountain and carried him to jail,
No friends nor relations would go on his bail.

Sitting in the jail cell and what did he say?
"I killed pretty Polly, been trying to get away."


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST,J.C.
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 03:28 AM

Pretty Polly aka The Cruel Ship's Carpenter - aka The Gosport Tragedy, aka The Ghost Ship, aka In Dublin's Fair City et al.
The Roud index lists 292 versions, mostly American, though it has been found in Britain and Ireland.
Earliest known version, The Gosport Tragedy or The Perjured Ship's Carpenter, printed and sold in a Garland at The Printing Office, Bow Churchyard, London in 1750.
Best known English recorded version from Sam Larner, a Norfolk fisherman, entitled The Ghost Ship, where the murdered woman returns and takes revenge on her murderer. Harry Cox, also from Norfolk, also sang it.
Best American version by far (in my opinion) is by Frank Proffitt of North Carolina, which is beautifully sung by Peggy Seeger on various records.


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 10:19 AM

B. F. Shelton's Pretty Polly (1927)

from The Folktunes Arcive


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 08:00 PM

Thank you! This is the same person who started the whole thing. A lot of what I've heard here is what I'm looking for. Yes, I've heard "Omie Wise".

Thanks again!

Unknown Guest


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 08:56 PM

The Folktunes Archive site also has Doc Boggs' Pretty Polly also recorded in 1927.


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Subject: Song Add - Pretty Polly? -
From: Abby Sale
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 11:23 AM

I think you're looking for one of my favorite songs and one of my favorites to sing. I posted it a second time at Pretty Polly or The Ghost Song but the harvesters don't seem to like it. I have no knowledge of its geneology except the obvious similarities to the songs cited.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY POLLY (trad Kentucky)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 03:52 AM

Here is another version, from the blind Harlan Kentucky fiddler/singer Jim Howard. The recording dates come from here: A List of Fiddlers On Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture. This is the website of Old Time fiddler Kerry Blech, who lives down in Florida. I got the version from here: The Roots Music Listening Room, from the juneberry78s.com website. There's a mountain of MP3s to be heard here - great music but all done on the sly - these Library of Congress recordings seem to have been made public by Kerry himself, who loaned them out to someone who gave them to Tom Morrison (aka "Norm"), proprietor of Juneberry, who also will make you CDs - for a fee. So take him with a grain of salt.
This is a fantastic recording in any case - way more evil than Boggs or Shelton's, great as those are. Someone (Howard himself?) helpfully recites the lyrics at the end, too.

Pretty Polly
Jim Howard Version
Rec. by one of the Lomaxes, either 10/37 or 8/33, Harlan Kentucky

I used to be a rambler, I stayed around in town
I used to be a rambler, I stayed around in town
I courted Pretty Polly, her beauty has never been found

Polly, Pretty Polly, would you think it unkind?
Polly, Pretty Polly, would you think it unkind?
For me to sit down beside you and tell you my mind.

I courted Pretty Polly, one whole live long night
I courted Pretty Polly, one whole live long night
Left the next morning, before it was light

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
Before we get married, some pleasure to see

I led her over hills and through valleys so deep
I led her over hills and through valleys so deep
Pretty Polly, she mistrusted and then began to weep

Oh Willy, oh Willy, I'm feared from your ways
Oh Willy, Sweet Willy, I'm feared from your ways
The way you've been rambling you'll lead me astray

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you're guessing just right
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you're guessing just right
I dug on your grave, six long hours of last night

She went on a little piece farther and what did she spy?
She went on a little piece farther and what did she spy?
A new grave was dug and the spade a-lying by

No time now to study, no time now to stand,
No time now to study, no time now to stand,
He stood with his knife drew in his right hand.

She threw her arms around him and trembled with fear
She threw her arms around him and began for to weep
How can you kill a poor girl you love so dear?

Stabbed her through the heart and her heart blood did flow
Stabbed her through the heart and her heart blood did flow
Down in the grave Pretty Polly had to go.

Threw the dirt over her and turned away to go
Threw the dirt over her and turned away to go
Leave nothing behind but the wild birds to moan.

All you good people I'll bid you farewell
All you good people I'll bid you farewell
I murdered Pretty Polly, my soul's bound for hell.


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST,Kevin Rietmann
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 04:01 AM

Better throw in my proper name while I'm at it.


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Subject: RE: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 07:55 AM

E. C. Ball's fine (1941?) version with guitar is, I believe, featured on Library of Congress records that are commercially available. E.C. said he used his guitar to imitate a banjo version he'd heard (possibly B.F. Shelton's or John Hammond's), and both vocal and instrumental are classic and very dark and brooding. Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY POLLY
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 11:47 PM

PRETTY POLLY

O, where is Pretty Polly, over yonder she stands
O, Where is Pretty Polly, over yonder she stands
With rings on her fingers and lily-white hands

O, Polly, Pretty Polly, won't you come and go with me? (2x)
Before we get married, some pleasure we'll see

O, she hopped on the horse behind him and away they did go (2x)
And where she was going Pretty Polly did not know

They rode over mountains and valleys so deep (2x)
Pretty Polly didn't know it was her time to sleep

They came to a new dug grave, a spade was lying by (2x)
Pretty Polly then knew it was her time to die

She knelt down beside him , a-pleading for her life (2x)
Let me be a single girl, I cannot be your wife

O, he opened her bosom, as white as the snow (2x)
He stabbed through the heart and the blood it did flow

He threw some dirt over her and turned for to go (2x)
But where he was going in this world he did not know

He caught a ship a-sailing down by the seaside (2x)
He said to the captain he wanted to see the other side

He sailed upon the ocean, for many days they went (2x)
Til the ship struck an iceberg, to the bottom she went

(N.D.) As sung by Paul Wiley, born in 1935 in northeastern Kentucky, and who moved to the state of Washington in 1964.

Source:
Comin' Round the Mountain: Old Time Southern Singing and Playing in Western Washington (Voyager Recordings, VRCD 2005).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: pavane
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 03:24 AM

The one requested at the start of this thread, with the lines

Polly Pretty Polly come go along with me
Polly Pretty Polly come go along with me
Before we get married some pleasure to see

was sung by Sandy Denny on her first album, Sandy and Johnny, 1967, SAGA records


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER
From: RTim
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM

Here is an un-published version of The Cruel Ship's Carpenter collected in 1907 by Dr. George Gardiner from George Blake (then of Bitterne, Southampton) that is sung to the tune - Villikins.

Tim Radford.


THE CRUEL SHIP'S CARPENTER.

In fair Warwick city in fair Warwickshire
A handsome young damsel oh! lived there
A handsome young man courted her to be his dear
And he was by trade a ship's carpenter.

The king wanted seamen to go on the sea
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to say
Oh, William, oh, William, don't you go to sea.
Remember the vows that you made unto me.

One morning so early before it was day,
He came to his Polly; these words he did say:
Oh, Polly, oh, Polly, you must go with me
Before we are married our friends for to see.

He led her through groves and valleys so steep
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to weep.
Oh, William, oh, William, you have led me astray
On purpose my innocent life to betray.

It's true; it's true then these words I did say,
For it's all this long night I've been digging your grave.
The grave laying open the spade standing by,
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to cry.

Oh, William, oh, William, you pardon my life.
I never will covet to be your wife.
I'll travel the country to set you quite free.
Oh, pardon, oh, pardon my baby and me.

No pardon, no pardon; there's no time to stand.
And with that he had a knife in his hand.
He stabbed her fair heart till the blood it did flow
And into the grave her fair body he threw.

He covered her up so safe and secure,
Thinking no one would find her he was sure.
He went on board to sail the world round
Before that this murder could ever be found.

One morning so early before it was day,
The captain came up and these words he did say:
There's a murder on board and it's lately been done.
Our ship she's in mourning and cannot sail on.

Then up stepped one, indeed it's not me.
Then up stepped another, the same he did say.
Then up stepped young William to stamp and to swear.
Indeed it's not me, I vow and declare.

As he was returning from the captain with speed,
He met his fair Polly, which made his heart bleed.
She stripped, she tore him, she tore him in three
Because he had murdered her baby and she.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: GUEST,Arnie Naiman
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 02:44 PM

Listen here: B.F. Shelton    http://www.myspace.com/thebfshelton
Spooky!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: Richie
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 11:22 AM

Hi,

I'm doing a series of youtube videos combining my artwork:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASJjrxxCNmc

Here's a link to my lyrics: http://bluegrassmessengers.com.temp.realssl.com/pretty-polly--version-12.aspx

And also a link to my art site: http://www.mattesonart.com/pretty-polly.aspx

I'm also doing a series of educational videos on youtube demonstating traditional songs and giving some background info.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 10:11 AM

Hi,

I'm going to put a video the Coon Creek Girls version on here soon. It features Cari Norris, Lily May Ledford's grandaughter, playing the tune in a minor key tuning, old-time style on the banjo. I backed her up on guitar and my bass player joined us.

I'm trying to document different versions of the song.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:50 AM

Hi,

Here's my band with special guest Cari Norris playing Pretty Polly on youtube with some of my painting images:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV8fnwYm58I

Cari is Lily May Ledford's grandaughter and plays Lily May's Vega banjo. Her lyrics are similar to the Coon Creek Girls version.

I'll post a link later,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 07:10 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAuc6rFXb1E


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 09:44 PM

Hi,

Here's the link to Cari's lyrics:

http://bluegrassmessengers.com.temp.realssl.com/pretty-polly--bluegrass-messengers--cari-norris.aspx

Richie


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