Far, Far at Sea
DESCRIPTION: "'Twas night, when the bell had struck twelve, And poor Susan was laid on her pillow, In her ear whispered... 'Your love now lies toss'd on a billo, Far, far at sea." Awakening in a fright, she finds no reason to believe, but still she fears it true
AUTHOR: Music: C. H. Florio
EARLIEST DATE: 1837 (The Vocal Companion), but reportedly some decades older
KEYWORDS: dream sailor death separation
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Gray, p. 115, "Far, Far at Sea" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: (no author listed), "The Vocal Companion_, second edition, D'Almaine and Co., 1937 (available from Google Books), pp. 68-69, "Far, Far at Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: This is a bit of a conundrum. We have testimony that a piece "Far, Far at Sea" was sung by Charles Incledon (1763-1826), and the evidence is that it is this song. There are many broadsides (some cited by Gray, others found in the Roud broadside catalog), although as of 2009 I could not find a copy in any of the major online broadside catalogs.
But is it a folk song? It sounds a bit like a worn-down version of "Mary o' the Dee (Mary's Dream)" [Laws K20], perhaps with an echo of "Susan Strayed on the Briny Beach" [Laws K19] being responsible for the name of the girl. It seems to have been very popular for a time, then faded completely. I include it only very tentatively. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.5
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.