Old Mayflower, The
DESCRIPTION: Mayflower runs ashore with its cargo of dry fish and ale. After the cargo is stolen we take the pail, jars, kettle, and, finally, the wood. "And that was the end of the old Mayflower"
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Peacock)
KEYWORDS: ship wreck humorous theft
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peacock, pp. 87-88, "The Old Mayflower" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mrs. Nellie Musseau, "The Old Mayflower" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
cf. "Mariposa" (theme)
cf. "The Teapots at the Fire" (theme)
cf. "The Middlesex Flora" (theme)
cf. "The Irrawaddy" (theme)
NOTES [164 words]: I find myself wondering if Stan Rogers didn't have this or one of the other songs in the cross-references somewhere in the back of his mind when he wrote "The Wreck of the Athens Queen." It's interesting to see how many songs on the theme of, shall we say, extremely rapid and perhaps premature salvage come from Newfoundland.
The right of salvage is ancient, and so is its abuse. According to John Gillingham, Richard the Lionheart, Times Books, 1978, pp. 70-71, we find the English King Henry II rescinding the right of salvage at certain points along the Atlantic coast in the 1170s (to protect wine merchants, whose products floated and so could be re-collected even if their ship sank). Gillingham also mentions that the merchants thought he should have extended it even farther -- to Brittany, where the locals had a tradition of living off the proceeds of wrecks.
"The Hoban Boys" mentions the looting of a ship Mayflower. Whether they are the same ship I do not know. - RBW
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