Fog-bound Vessel, The
DESCRIPTION: On payday Molly meets her boyfriend Villiam. He leads her away, kills her, and sails away. Her ghost wakes him and brings a fog that stopps his ship. The captain thinks Vill is the cause. Avenged, Molly disappears. Moral: girls, leave your money home
AUTHOR: W.H.C. West (source: GreigDuncan2 citing Fowler)
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(2474))
KEYWORDS: courting homicide money burial sea ship humorous ghost sailor derivative
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan2 202, "Vill, the Ship's Carpenter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(2474), "Molly the Betray'd" or "The Fog-bound Vessel" ("In a kitchen in Portsmouth, a fair maid did dwell," W.S. Fortey (London), 1858-1885; also Firth b.27(226), "Molly the Betrayed" or "The Fog Bound Vessel"; Firth c.13(207), "Molly the Betrayed"
cf. "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter (The Gosport Tragedy; Pretty Polly)" [Laws P36A/B] (subject of parody) and references there
NOTES: Broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(2474) is the basis for the description.
GreigDuncan2: "This is a parody of [The Gosport Tragedy] which appeared on broadsides."
As expected in a parody this ballad almost shares some lines with the original. For example, "...he led her o'er hills and down walleys so deep, At length this fair damsel began for to veep" and "...ve've no time to stand, And he took a sharp knife into his right hand; He pierced her best gown, till the blood it did flow, And into the grave her fair body did throw."
The "Young Villiam valked vith her" "dialect" is found in other "comical" parodies. See, for example, "All Around My Hat" - which refers to a pre-1834 broadside with the line "All around my hat, I vears a green villow" (the singer, selling vegetables from his cart, tells how his "hangel" was sent over for seven years for thievery) - and "Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah) [Laws M31A/B]" (Dinah's suicide follows a threat by her father to marry or lose her inheritance). What dialect is this taken to be? In some cases, at least, it is Jewish: see, for example, broadside Bodleian Firth b.28(10a/b) View 5 of 8, "The Vindow Man" ("You'll guess my line of pizness by the things upon my back"), R. March and Co. (London), 1877-1884, which includes the line "I couldn't speak a plessed vord of anything but Yiddish." [Note that Yiddish, being a German dialect, shares the German trait of pronouncing "w" as "v" - RBW] Maybe the dialect should generally be taken to indicate any Germanic-speaker, but money plays a central part in each of these songs. - BS
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