If I Were a Fisher

DESCRIPTION: Composite of floating material: The singer goes to the garden to pick flowers. He wishes he were a fisher, to catch Molly, a salmon; he wishes he were a scholar. He would build Molly a castle. But he lost her by courting too slow
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1932 (Creighton-NovaScotia)
KEYWORDS: love courting rejection flowers bird floatingverses
FOUND IN: Ireland Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
SHenry H709, p. 348, "If I Were a Fisher"; H24a, pp. 248-349, "The Star of Benbradden" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-NovaScotia 46, "Pretty Polly" (1 fragment, 1 tune)

Roud #6873
Betty Garland, "Lovin' Nancy" (on BGarland01)
cf. "Pretty Saro" (floating verses)
cf. "The Cuckoo" (floating verses)
cf. "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (floating verses)
cf. "The False Bride (The Week Before Easter; I Once Loved a Lass)" (floating verses)
cf. "On Top of Old Smokey" (floating verses)
cf. "As I Walked Out (I) (A New Broom Sweeps Clean)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Green Grows the Laurel (Green Grow the Lilacs)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I've Travelled This Country (Last Friday Evening)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I Once Had a True Love" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [101 words]: Another composite of floating verses; see the cross-references. Sam Henry's earlier text, "The Star of Benbradden," starts with an original verse, but the rest is the same as "If I Were a Fisher." Since they're both composites, I decided to lump them -- and use the "If I Were a Fisher" name as more memorable.
I tossed Betty Garland's "Lovely Nancy" here on the same principle; it's massively composite, in the "Pretty Saro/If I Were a Fisher" mold.
Creighton's single stanza is really just a floating verse, but it's a floating verse often found with this song; this is as good a home for it as any. - RBW
File: HHH709

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.