Jolly Sailors Bold (I)
DESCRIPTION: The singer ridicules farmers on land and compares their easy life with the dangers faced by sailors. But "we'll sail into all parts of the world ... And we'll bring home all prizes ... We spend our money freely, And go to sea for more"
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Mackenzie)
KEYWORDS: bragging farming sea ship ordeal nonballad sailor
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar) Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Mackenzie 95, "Jolly Sailors Bold" (1 text)
Purslow-Constant, p. 70, "Poor Jolly Sailor Lads" (1 composite text, 1 tune)
Roud #3289 and 1664
cf. "Maids of Simcoe (Ontario)" (theme)
cf. "Ye Gentlemen of England (I)" [Laws K2]
cf. "Dixie Brown" [Laws D7] (lyrics)
NOTES: Mackenzie: "The source of this song, and of a great many similar ones, is the famous broadside 'Ye Gentlemen of England, or When the Stormy Winds Do Blow,' composed by Martin Parker, and first issued about 1635."
This is a sailor's version of "Maids of Simcoe" (it has the same Roud number). It is also "Ye Gentlemen of England (I)" [Laws K2], but without a disaster of any kind.
See, for the Mackenzie "source," broadside Bodleian, Douce Ballads 2(167b), "Neptune's Raging Fury" or "The Gallant Seaman's Sufferings" ("You gentlemen of England, that live at home at ease"), C. Brown (London), 1695-1707, by Martin Parker. - BS
Roud splits the British and Canadian versions of this song (the English "Poor Jolly Sailor Lads" being #1664 and the Canadian "Jolly Sailors Bold" #3289), but I think that he simply didn't note the similarities; both often open with a call to read what is written rather than hearing what is sung; both compare farmers and sailors, to the detriment of the former; both end with the sailors spending their money and going back to sea. I call that the same song. - RBW
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