Lady Franklin's Lament (The Sailor's Dream) [Laws K9] -- Part 01

DESCRIPTION: A sailor has a dream (. He hears Lady Franklin) telling of the loss of her husband, who disappeared in Baffin's Bay as he sought the Northwest Passage. He never returned, and is presumed dead, but Lady Franklin would give a great fortune to be certain
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1878 (Faulkner, _Eighteen Months on a Greenland Whaler_); broadside versions probably date from the period 1850-1853
KEYWORDS: sailor wife death exploration Eskimo
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1845-1847 - Lord Franklin's final expedition
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont) Britain(Scotland) Ireland
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Laws K9, "Lady Franklin's Lament (The Sailor's Dream)"
Doerflinger pp. 145-147, "Lady Franklin's Lament" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Colcord, pp. 159-159, "Franklin's Crew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 154-156, "The Franklin Expedition" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H815, p. 103, "Franklin the Brave" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig #86, p. 2, "Lady Franklin's Lament" (1 text)
GreigDuncan1 16, "Lady Franklin's Lament" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 151, "The Franklin Expedition" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 65-66, "Franklin In Search of the North-West Passage" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, p. 145, "Franklin and His Ship's Crew"; p. 146, "Franklin and His Bold Crew" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 97, "Franklin and His Bold Crew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 672-673, "The Lady Franklin" (1 text)
DT 401, LADYFRAN* LADYFRN2 LADYFRN3
ADDITIONAL: Leslie Shepard, _The Broadside Ballad_, Legacy Books, 1962, 1978, p. 155, "Sir J. Franklin And His Crews" (reproduction of a broadside page)

Roud #487
RECORDINGS:
Pat Maher, "Franklin" (on NFMLeach)
BROADSIDES:
Murray, Mu23-y2:005, "Lady Franklin's Lament for her Husband," unknown, 19C [there is a hand-written date of "1851" on the sheet, but this appears to be a later addition; the text itself says it has been seven years since Franklin sailed, making the year at least 1852]
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Croppy Boy (I)" [Laws J14] (tune)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Lord Franklin
NOTES: This song is the chief musical relic of one of the saddest events in the history of arctic exploration: The last failed attempt in the nineteenth century to sail the "Northwest Passage" from the Atlantic to the Pacific north of Canada.
It was a popular theme in broadsides, but most of the results were terrible (for an example of just how bad they can be, see "A Ballad of Sir John Franklin," in Sandler, pp. 96-98). It appears that none of these products survived in tradition -- except this song, which has proved enduringly popular.
Unfortunately, the song ends in the middle of the story, with an unsolved mystery. Most books about the Franklin Expedition simply describe the quest for the Northwest Passage, Franklin's part in it -- and then the quest to discover what happened to Franklin. I'm going to try to do it from the standpoint of the song, telling the history of the quests for the passage, then discussing Franklin, then looking what the song has to say on the subject -- and only then talking of the search for and fate of Franklin. It's not a very coherent story this way, but it avoids "cheating." If you want a more orderly exposition, try one of the books listed in the bibliography (I'd recommend Delgado or Fleming-Barrow).
The bibliography below is partially annotated, to tell you which books cover which events. For the rest of the story, see "Lady Franklin's Lament (The Sailor's Dream) [Laws K9]" -- Part 02.
Bibliography Last updated in version 4.1
File: LK09

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