I Will Put My Ship In Order
DESCRIPTION: The singer puts his ship in order to sail to his true love. He arrives wet and tired, knocks at her window, and asks her to let him in. She delays (perhaps her parents are watching), and he leaves before she comes. She laments his departure
EARLIEST DATE: 1876 (Christie)
KEYWORDS: ship love reunion separation nightvisit betrayal
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Stokoe/Reay, pp. 35-36, "I Drew My Ship into the Harbour" (1 text, 1 tune, with a "ripest apples" floating verse)
Greig #54, p. 1, "I Will Set My Good Ship in Order" (1 text)
GreigDuncan4 792, "I Will Set My Ship in Order" (19 texts, 16 tunes)
Ord, pp. 318-319, "I Will Set My Ship in Order" (1 text)
DT, SHIPORDR* SHIPORD2*
ADDITIONAL: W. Christie, editor, Traditional Ballad Airs (Edinburgh, 1876 (downloadable pdf by University of Edinburgh, 2007)), Vol I, pp. 224-225, "I Will Put My Ship in Order" (1 tune)
cf. "The Drowsy Sleeper" [Laws M4] (plot)
cf. "Rise Up Quickly and Let Me In (The Ghostly Lover)" (lyrics, theme)
My True Love Johnnie
NOTES: This song is about 80% identical with the piece I've titled "Rise Up Quickly and Let Me In (The Ghostly Lover)"; the only differences are in the first verse (about the ship) and the ending (in this, the lover leaves; in the other, the girl arrives in time to admit him). Fragments could file with either song.
Some, including Roud, have identified this song with "The Drowsy Sleeper," and there is some justice to this; there may be cross-influence. Indeed, for a time I listed this as an alternate title of "Drowsy Sleeper." But we are splitters, and so the two are now separate. I think that's the proper decision anyway.
The last few verses of this song bear a resemblance to Song of Solomon 5:2-6, but that may be coincidence. - RBW
GreigDuncan4: "Greig prints a composite version."
Christie [beware], "as sung by the Editor's grandfather," has a happy ending: "He turned him right and round so quickly, Says, 'Come with me, my lovely one, And we'll be wed, my own sweet lover, And let them talk when we are gone."
The Greig-Duncan4 texts at least have this parallel to "The Drowsy Sleeper": the lover -- at her window -- would have his lover ask her parents for her hand and she warns that neither will approve. The difference is that there is no danger: no silver dagger. Father, a merchant, is "in his bedroom writing, Busy with his merchandise; In his left pocket he holds a letter, And it speaks much of your dispraise" [he protests that any "dispraise" is unwarranted]; mother is sleeping and "sweet notes of love she will not hear" or "if I disturb her she'll be angry." - BS
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