Swansea Town (The Holy Ground)

DESCRIPTION: The singer is leaving (home and/or sweetheart). He describes the various troubles the ship faces on her voyage (around the Horn), including bad weather. (He writes to his girl when the ship stops in port.) At last he arrives home with great rejoicing
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1951
KEYWORDS: sailor ship storm parting reunion
FOUND IN: US(MA) Ireland
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 152-154, "Swansea Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill, p. 431-436, "Old Swansea Town Once More," "In Cameltoon Once More," "The Holy Ground Once More" (4 texts, 4 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 323-328]
OLochlainn-More 97, "The Holy Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, HOLYGRND*

Roud #929
NOTES: Normally known in Ireland as "The Holy Ground" (there is even a spot in Cork called "The Holy Ground") and "Swansea Town" in the wider world. Doerflinger's text opens with a stanza not found in the Irish versions but with connections to several Appalachian songs:
Now the Lord made the bee and the bee did make honey,
Oh, the Devil sends the girls for to spend the sailors' money."
Robert Gogan, 130 Great Irish Ballads (third edition, Music Ireland, 2004), p. 152 notes that the title "The Holy Ground" normally refers to the east side of Cobh near Cork -- but admits a rumour that it once referred to a brothel in the town. He can find no confirmation of this. I would presume, in any case, that that would be "The Holey Ground." - RBW
File: Doe152

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.