DESCRIPTION: Shanty. "Oh Billy Riley was a dancing master, O Billy Riley. Old Billy Riley, screw him up so cheer'ly, O Billy Riley O." Verses name members of Riley's family and/or their occupations. Refrain changes each time based on which Riley is named in the verse.
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Sharp-EnglishFolkChanteys)
FOUND IN: West Indies Britain
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, p. 74, "O Billy Riley!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, pp. 452-453, "Billy Riley" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbrEd, p. 338]
Sharp-EnglishFolkChanteys, LVIII, p. 63, "O Billy Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST Hug452 (Full)
NOTES [43 words]: The liner notes to the Lloyd/MacColl recording "Blow, Boys, Blow" state "The sail would need to be light, or the occasion desperate, for men to haul at the halyards to tbe beat of such a fast song as this." But other sources don't seem to have noticed this. - RBW
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