DESCRIPTION: "Riley, Riley, where are you, Wo, Riley! Wo, ma-an!" "Riley's gone to Liverpool... Riley's gone an' I'm goin too." "Wish I were Cap'n Riley's son... I'd lay around and drink good rum." "Thought I heard my cap'n say... Tomorrow is our sailin' day."
EARLIEST DATE: 1935
KEYWORDS: sailor ship work drink travel nonballad shanty
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Lomax-FSNA 278, "Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Parrish 53, pp. 214-215, "Good-bye My Riley-O" (1 text, 1 tune)
Joe Armstrong, John Davis and the Georgia Sea Island Singers, "Riley" (on LomaxCD1713)
cf. "Ginny's Gone to Ohio" (lyrics)
NOTES [118 words]: I don't believe this is the same song we have indexed as "Jimmy My Riley." The response lines are close but the leader's lines are too short. - BS
This is a pastiche of verses from various songs, e.g. "Leave Her, Johnny," "Ginny's Gone to Ohio" (which also has some resemblance in the tune), etc. Lomax related it to "Stormalong" (a connection I don't see). You can probably find other relatives if you look hard enough.
Ben Schwartz gave this description for Parrish's "Good-bye My Riley-O" version:
Response lines alternate between "O Riley O man" and "Bye bye my Riley o." Leader lines include "Riley, Riley, where are you", "Riley gone to Liverpool (London Town, Mobile Bay)," "Riley gone and I'm going too"
Last updated in version 4.1
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