Dark-Eyed Sailor, The (Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor) [Laws N35]

DESCRIPTION: The singer courts a girl, but she remains true to William, her sailor, gone these seven years. William at last identifies himself and produces his half of their broken ring. The two are married and settle down
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1809 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 2483)
KEYWORDS: love courting brokentoken marriage
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont) Britain(Scotland(Aber),England(Lond,South,West)) Ireland
REFERENCES (38 citations):
Laws N35, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor (Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor)"
Gardner/Chickering 57, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text plus 1 excerpt and mention of 2 more, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 218-219, "Dark-Eyed Canaller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-Pioneer 14, "The Dark Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
Gray, pp. 108-110, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, very damaged, plus a reprint of a Forth broadside)
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 36-38, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger pp. 300-301, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H232, p. 318, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 93, "The Broken Ring" (1 text)
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 120-122, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig #112, p. 2, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
GreigDuncan5 1037, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (5 texts, 5 tunes)
Ord, pp. 323-324, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 409, "Phoebe and Her Dark Eyed Sailor"; Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 609, "Twas of a Comely Young Lady Fair" (2 texts)
Purslow-Constant, pp. 30-31, "Fair Phoebe ANd Her Dark-Ey'd Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ECS, "The Dark-eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #68, "Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 95, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text (with mention of a variant collection) plus 1 excerpt)
BrownSchinhanIV 95, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 267-270, "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor" (3 texts; the first, "Young Willie's Return, or The Token," with tune on pp. 426-427, is this song; the second, "The Sailor," with tune on p. 427, is "John (George) Riley (II)" Laws N37; the third, "Billy Ma Hone," with tune on p. 427, seems to be its own song)
MacSeegTrav 26, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 12, "The Dark Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 144-146, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" ( 2 texts, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 29, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 36, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 513-514, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 55, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Guigne, pp. 107-110, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Lehr/Best 27, "The Dark-eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 64, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
Fowke-Ontario 9, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 93-94,244, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson 65, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn 5, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ashton-Sailor, #71, "Fair Phoeby and Her Dark Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 125-126, "The Dark Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 147, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (1 text)
DT 460, DARKEYED* DARKEYE2

Roud #265
RECORDINGS:
M. Curran, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Charlotte Decker, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Warde Ford, "Nightingales of Spring" (AFS 4198 A1, 1938; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Mrs. T. Ghaney, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Fred Jordan, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" (on Voice02)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 2483, "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-ey'd Sailor," unknown [Printer's Series:(39)], 1767-1808; also Harding B 11(498), "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; Harding B 11(499), Johnson Ballads 452, Firth c.18(141), Harding B 15(99a), Harding B 11(1120), Firth c.12(261), Harding B 11(1119), Harding B 11(3030), Harding B 16(84b), "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor"; Firth c.17(53), Harding B 11(2824), Firth b.27(475), "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-ey'd Sailor"; Harding B 16(326b), "Fair Phoebe and her Dark Eyed Sailor"; Firth b.25(142), Harding B 15(98b), "Fair Phoebe and her Dark Ey'd Sailor"; Harding B 11(3493), Johnson Ballads 1837, "Fair Phoebe, and the Dark-Eye'd Sailor"; Firth b.25(193), "Fair Phoebe and the Dark-Eyed sailor"; Harding B 15(99b), "Fair Phoeby and Her Dark Eyed Sailor"; Harding B 18(114), "Dark Ey'd Sailor" ("'Tis of a comely young lady, fair")
LOCSinging, as102640, "Dark Ey'd Sailor," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also sb10077b, "Dark Ey'd Sailor"
Murray, Mu23-y1:016, "The Dark-Eyed Sailor," R. M'Intosh (Calton), 19C; also Mu23-y1:102, "Fair Phoebe And Her Dark-Eyed Sailor," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "John (George) Riley (I)" [Laws N36] and references there
cf. "The Lovely Cottage Maid (The Cottage Maid)" (plot, themes)
cf. "Brave Wolfe" [Laws A1] and references there (tune)
cf. "The Female Smuggler" (tune, per broadsides Bodleian Johnson Ballads 2483, Bodleian Harding B 11(498), Bodleian Harding B 11(499))
NOTES: Ford sings this to the tune usually associated with "The Blacksmith," which -- so far as I know -- hasn't been otherwise collected outside Britain except as "Brave Wolfe." - PJS
Lines shared with The Banks of Sweet Primroses: Young girl's be true while your love's at sea, For a dark cloudy morning Brings forth a pleasant day."
Broadside LOCSinging as102640: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Fowke-Ontario, p. 166, declares that, in North America, this was the most popular broken-token ballad other than "The Sailor's Return" (i.e. "Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token)" [Laws N42]) and adds that "in Britain it was an even greater favorite." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LN35

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 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.