Married to a Mermaid
DESCRIPTION: Farmer loves a knight's daughter, the knight has him pressed. At sea the farmer falls overboard. As his comrades look for him he pops up and tells them how he found and then married a mermaid. The sailors wish him well. Choruses of "Rule Britannia."
EARLIEST DATE: 1870 (Broadside, Bodleian library)
KEYWORDS: sailor mermaid/man pressgang farming marriage
FOUND IN: Britain US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Harlow, pp. 174-176, "Married to a Mermaid" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Rule Britannia" (tune and chorus)
cf. "The Merman (Pretty Fair Maid with a Tail)" [Laws K24] (theme of marrying a mermaid)
cf. "Down in the Diving Bell (The Mermaid (II))" (theme of marrying a mermaid)
NOTES: This was obviously based on "Rule Britannia," keeping the tune and popular chorus and replacing all the other text. According to contemplator.com it was credited in the "Scottish Student's Handbook" to "A.J.C." and also appeared in Toser's "Sailor's Songs of Chanties." It seems to have been made popular by [music hall performer] Arthur Lloyd (1839-1904) but I could find no indication that he was responsible for the words. One of the Bodleian broadsides state that it was sung to the tune of "The Revelers." - SL
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