Big Ship Sailing, A

DESCRIPTION: "There's a big ship sailing on the illie-alley-oh...." "There's a big ship sailing, rocking on the sea...." "There's a big ship sailing, back again...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Dann)
KEYWORDS: nonballad ship
FOUND IN: Ireland New Zealand
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Opie-Game 6, "The Big Ship Sails" (5 texts, 1 tune)
Sutton-Smith-NZ, p. 36, "(The big ship sails)" (1 short text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 386, "A Big Ship Sailing" (1 text)
Jack, p. 15, "The Big Ship Sails on the Ally-Ally-O (1 short text)
ADDITIONAL: Hollis Dann, First Year Music: Rote Songs for Kindergarten and First Year (New York, 1914 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 90-91, "The Holly, Holly, Ho" ("The big ship sails thro' the Holly, Holly, Ho ... On the last day of December") (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #4827
The Alley-Alley-O
The Illie-Alley-O
The Eely Ily Oh
NOTES [93 words]: Opie-Game has a version referring, with the wrong date, to the 1914 sinking of the Lusitania ("The big ship's name was the Lusitania ... On the fourteenth of November"). Opie-Game: "The explanation most often heard is that the song celebrates the opening in 1894 of the Manchester Ship Canal ... but this seems to be precluded by a recollection of the game in New Zealand in 1870." - BS
Jack, p. 15, also cite the building of the Manchester Ship Canal, which took place in 1894, without direct supporting evidence. He describes it as a skipping game. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.4
File: FSWB386A

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