To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
10 messages

Penguin: The Green Bed

18 Feb 00 - 05:35 PM (#180926)
Subject: Penguin: The Green Bed (tune only)^^
From: Alan of Australia

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Green Bed can be found here.

Previous song: The Golden Vanity.
Next Song: The Greenland Whale Fishery.

Alan ^^

18 Feb 00 - 06:00 PM (#180939)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Laws K36. On the Bodley Ballads website it's the "Liverpool Landlady".

29 Jul 00 - 03:59 PM (#267407)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: Malcolm Douglas

From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959):

"During the 19th. century the ballad press issued a large number of broadsides setting out the sailor's disgust with the treatment received at the hands of grasping landladies and their faithless daughters.  That many of these songs rewsemble each other seems to be the result of influence rather than accident.  Green Beds, "a song popular both in the foc'sle and in the cottage", tells the tale in fullest detail and must be regarded as the most important ballad on this theme.  A fairly close relative is the well-known song,  The Wild Rover.  The Green Bed has also been collected in Warwickshire (FSJ vol.I, p.48), Somerset (FSJ vol.V, p.68) and Devon (Songs of the West, Sabine Baring Gould and others, 1905, pp.186-7, with words re-written)."  -R.V.W./A.L.L.

This version was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Benjamin Arnold of Easton, nr. Winchester, in 1909, and was first published in the Folk Song Journal, vol.III, p.282.

There is another version on the DT:

Jackson  with tune.

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:
Johnny the Sailor (Green Beds)

@sailor @courting @drink
DT #323
Laws K36

Other titles:

Captain John
Green Beds
Johnny the Sailor
The Sailor in the Alehouse

There are a number of broadside texts at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.  Where duplicate copies exist, I have linked to the most easily legible.

Jack Tar, or The Green Bed Empty  Printer and date unknown.

Jack Tar, or The Green Bed Empty  Printed between 1840 and 1866 by John Harkness, Church Street, Preston.

The Liverpool Landlady  Printed (between 1819 and 1844?) by J. Pitts of Great St. Andrew St., Seven Dials, London.

The Liverpool Landlady  Printed between 1845 and 1859 by A. Ryle and Co., 2 & 3 Monmouth court, Seven Dials, London.

The Liverpool Landlady  Printed between 1828 and 1829 by T. Birt, 10, Great St. Andrew-Street, Seven Dials, London


Wild Rover  Printed by J. Jennings, No. 15, Water Lane, Fleet Street, London.  (NO IMAGE AVAILABLE)

Wild Rover  Printed between 1846 and 1854 by E. Hodges' (from Pitts's,) 31, Dudley St., Seven Dials, London.
Wild Rover  Printer and date unknown.

Wild Rover  Printed between 1813 and 1838 by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials, London.

Wild Rover  Printer and date unknown.

Wild Rover  Printed between 1817 and 1828 by T. Batchelar, 115, Long Alley, Moorfields, London.

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:
Wild Rover No More

On the DT:

Clancy Brothers version, with tune.

Obviously, there are a lot of threads in the Forum that deal with Wild Rover, but they relate mostly to parodies and the ubiquitous Irish clapping version.  However, there is a nice, melancholy version here:
Wild Rover No More,  with tune  here.

Please DON'T post any Wild Rover material to this thread!  I think we have as much as we need on that particular song, unless maybe Bruce has something to add.


29 Jul 00 - 04:41 PM (#267433)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Steve Roud's folksong index lists many more traditional versions of "Green Beds" (with several other titles for it, too. Roud #276), but I don't see any object in listing them all on the Mudcat Forum, nor would I consider such copying to be ethical. Both of Roud's indexes (broadsides and folk songs, with some overlap) are available now on a single CD, with about 110,000 listings in each file.

You have to have your own database system to read Roud's files into. On Dick Greenhaus's recommendation I got ASKSAM, which is an enommous inprovement on the DBASE IV that I had used previously. Files are only about 15% as large, (field lengths are not 'fixed' at a given (maximum) length and searching in a field (there are 20) is much easier to set up and the searching is much faster.

07 Aug 12 - 03:40 AM (#3387034)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin

I've put my own rendition of "The Green Bed" (click) on YouTube, if anyone needs one!


07 Aug 12 - 03:51 AM (#3387036)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: Dave Hanson

It took 12 years ?

Dave H

07 Aug 12 - 04:04 AM (#3387040)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin

It certainly did!


07 Aug 12 - 04:26 AM (#3387043)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: Les in Chorlton

But just a few moments in the life of a ballad?

L in C#

08 Aug 12 - 02:12 AM (#3387412)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: Joe Offer

....and most of us think it's really wonderful when a thread lives on for a dozen years or more. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Johnny the Sailor (Green Beds) [Laws K36]

DESCRIPTION: Johnny comes from sea and asks the innkeeper for a bed and the chance to see her daughter (Molly). Neither is granted. He reveals that his last trip made him rich; the innkeeper offers him all he asked. He ignores the offer; he will go where he is wanted
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian, Harding B 25(1124))
KEYWORDS: sea money courting greed landlord sailor
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Ont) Ireland
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Laws K36, "Johnny the Sailor (Green Beds)"
Belden, pp. 160-162, "Green Beds" (2 texts plus reference to 1 more)
Randolph 53, "Johnny the Sailor" (3 texts plus 2 excerpts, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 70-72, "Johnny the Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 53A)
Eddy 32, "The Green Bed" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 24, "The Green Beds" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Warner 49, "Captain John" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 108, "Green Beds" (2 texts plus 2 excerpts and mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 108, "Green Beds" (5 excerpts, 5 tunes)
Hudson 42, pp. 156-158, "Young Johnny" (1 text)
Brewster 31, "Young Johnny" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 430-431, "Jackson" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 58, "The Green Bed" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Greig #115, p. 2, "The Brisk Young Sailor Lad" (1 text)
GreigDuncan1 48, "Johnny and the Landlady" (6 texts, 3 tunes)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 48-49, "The Green Bed" (1 text, 1 tune)
Butterworth/Dawney, pp. 40-41, "A Story, A Story" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 271, "John Returned from the Sea" (1 text)
SHenry H779, p. 54, "The Sailor in the Alehouse" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 124, "Young Johnny" (1 text)
Mackenzie 93, "Green Beds" (2 texts, 1 tune); "The Liverpool Landlady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Ontario 8, "Johnny the Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 142, "Jackson" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin" by Asher E. Treat, pp. 243-244, "Young Johnny He Has Landed" (1 text, 1 tune, sung by Pearl Jacobs Borusky)

Roud #276
Warde Ford, "Johnny" (AFS 4200 A1, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Bodleian, Harding B 25(1124), "Liverpool Landlady," T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Harding B 11(2177), Harding B 11(2178), Firth c.13(178), Firth c.13(177), "Liverpool Landlady"
cf. "The Wild Rover No More" (plot)
cf. "The Saucy Sailor (Jack and Jolly Tar II) [Laws K38]"
cf. "Sweet William of Plymouth" (theme: poor sailor returning wealthy, is rejected by sweetheart's parents who think him still poor)
cf. "Snapoo" (plot)
Jack Tar
I'll Tell You of a Story
The Sailor
NOTES: Laws's numeration of the ballad subfamily known as "Jackson" is confused. In Native American Balladry he lists it as an American song, with no known relatives, and numbers it as dH40. However, in British Broadsides, he lists it as a version of "Johnny the Sailor." The latter identification is clearly correct, even though Sandburg describes his text as a "survivor of the years of the War with Mexico." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.7
File: LK36

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibliography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2012 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

15 Aug 12 - 05:33 PM (#3390657)
Subject: RE: Penguin: The Green Bed
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin

Sadly I can't make the link to Ed Pellow's performance work.