Seaman and His Love, A (The Welcome Sailor) [Laws N29]

DESCRIPTION: The singer hears a girl wailing for her love, gone these seven years at sea. He offers a token from her love, saying he is dead and she should marry whoever carries it. She says she will mourn forever. The stranger reveals himself as her missing love
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1620 (Stationer's Register -- apparently)
KEYWORDS: love separation brokentoken
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) US(MW) Ireland Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Laws N29, "A Seaman and His Love (The Welcome Sailor)"
Brocklebank/Kindersley-DorsetBookOfFolkSongs, p. 3, "Midst of Night" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 53, "A Seaman and His Love" (1 text)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H581, pp. 318-319, "The Love Token" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 530-533, "Jimmy and Nancy" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, p. 58, "Down by the Seaside" (1 text, 1 tune)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 77, "The Valiant Seaman's Happy Return to His Love, After a Long Seven Years' Absence" (1 text, presented as traditional though it includes references to Hero and Leander, "Ulisses" and Penelope, and Dido and Aeneas. Presumably it is a broadside reworking of a traditional text, this being the best candidate for the original)
Ashton-RealSailorSongs, #74, "The Welcome Sailor" (1 text)
Stone-SeaSongsAndBallads LXX, pp. 130-135, "The Valiant Seaman's happy return to his Love, after a long Seven Years absence" (1 text, similar to the literary Grigson text); LXXXVII, pp. 176-177, "The Welcome Sailor" (1 text, much more traditional-sounding than the other)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN2883, "When Sol could cast no light"; ZN2884, "When Sol did cast no light"
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; notes to #189, ("The Sailors") (1 text)

Roud #604
Bodleian, Douce Ballads 2(236a), "The Valiant Sea-Mans Happy Return to His Love, After a Long Seven Years Absence," P. Brooksby (London), 1672-1696; also Wood E 25(153), "The Valiant Sea-Mans Happy Return to His Love, After a Long Seven Years Absence"; Douce Ballads 2(237b), "The Valiant Seamans Happy Return to His Love, After a Long Seven Years Absence"; Bodleian, Firth c.13(188), "The Welcome Sailor" ("As I walked out one night, it being dark all over"), T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; Harding B 11(4088), 2806 c.17(462), Harding B 11(3681A), Harding B 25(2025), Harding B 11(949), "The Welcome Sailor"
cf. "John (George) Riley (I)" [Laws N36] and references there, especially N34
"I Am So Deep In Love" or "Through the Cool Shady Woods" (per broadsides Bodleian Douce Ballads 2(236a), Bodleian Wood E 25(153), Bodleian Douce Ballads 2(237b))
NOTES [150 words]: Bodleian Douce Ballads 2(236a) broadside seems to be the version cited above for Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 77; the theme and some lines match Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs but, as the comment for Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 77 notes, there are a lot of additional frills. [There is also a pretty elaborate version in the Roxburghe Ballads - RBW.]
The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:
Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "The Love Token" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001)) - BS
Of the later Bodleian broadsides, "The Welcome Sailor," all but Harding B 25(2025) have the anomalous line "soon as these words ["I'll wed no stranger"] she spoke her love grew stronger"; Harding B 25(2025) has "his love grew stronger" which agreees with the older broadsides. - BS
Last updated in version 6.2
File: LN29

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