Little Nell of Narragansett Bay

DESCRIPTION: "Full well do I remember My boyhood's happy hours... The bright and sparkling water O'er which we used to sail." The singer and Nell were never afraid at sea. But one day her body is found by the shore. Ten years later, he still weeps for the girl
AUTHOR: George F. Root
EARLIEST DATE: 1863 (Journal of the John Dawson)
KEYWORDS: ship death drowning separation mourning
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Spaeth-WeepSomeMoreMyLady, pp. 30-31, "Bright-Eyed Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dean-FlyingCloud, p. 119, "Little Nell of Narragansette Bay" (1 text)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 88, "Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 226-227, "Little Nell" (1 text)
Ives-Joe-Scott-TheWoodsmanSongmaker, pp. 160-162, "Bright Eyed Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text, 1 tune, given as the source for the tune of "Guy Reed")
Cohen-AmericanFolkSongsARegionalEncyclopedia1, p. 72, "(Bright-Eyed) Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #60, "Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #57, "Narragansett Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-TheGam-MoreSongsWhalemenSang, pp. 253-254, "Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #204, p. 15, "Bright-Eyed Little Nell of Narraganset-Bay" (1 reference)
cf. Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan, p. 480, "Little Nell of Narragansett Bay" (source notes only)

ST Brew88 (Partial)
Roud #3274
cf. "Guy Reed" [Laws C9] (tune, according to Ives-Joe-Scott-TheWoodsmanSongmaker, pp. 160-162)
Lines on the Reduction of Pay ("Come all you operatives in this and other towns") (Foner, p. 70, with a broadside print on p. 71)
NOTES [74 words]: There is another "Little Nell" ballad in the National Library of Scotland collection; this too revolves around a dead girl. It is suggested that the name was inspired by the Little Nell of Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop. The same suggestion might apply here. Or might not, of course.
The Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida version of the song is from a singer who came from Connecticut, so the song's link to the American South is rather weak. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: Brew88

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