There Was an Old Miser
DESCRIPTION: The old miser's daughter is courted by a sailor. When the miser finds out, he pays a captain to impress the boy. The girl fails to save the boy, but his ship is wrecked and he escapes to shore almost alone. He finds the girl; they are married.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1854 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.16(16))
KEYWORDS: courting sailor father pressgang wreck escape marriage
FOUND IN: US(MA) Britain(England(Lond,South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
FSCatskills 48, "There Was an Old Miser" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 222, "Transport" (1 text)
ST FSC048 (Partial)
Chris Willett, "The Old Miser" (on Voice04)
Bodleian, 2806 c.16(16), "Old Miser" ("It's of an old miser in London did dwell"), Swindells (Manchester), 1796-1853; also Johnson Ballads 572, "The Old Miser"
cf. "Disguised Sailor (The Sailor's Misfortune and Happy Marriage; The Old Miser)" [Laws N6]
NOTES [100 words]: Although this song shows many similarities to Laws N6 (plus a slight similarity to "William and Harriet," Laws M7), Cazden et al consider the ending sufficiently different that they regard it as a separate ballad. Since the policy of this index is to split rather than lump, here it stands.
Roud, interestingly, lumps it with Laws N10, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter." - RBW
Chris Willett's version on Voice04 and Bodleian broadsides 2806 c.16(16) and Johnson Ballads 572 include the verses in the [Supplemental Tradition text, from Cazden et al] but omit the ending: no shipwreck or happy ending. - BS
Last updated in version 2.6
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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.