Down in the Diving Bell (The Mermaid (II))

DESCRIPTION: Singer, a sailor, sees amazing sights while down in the diving bell (including the Atlantic Cable used as a clothesline). He courts and marries a mermaid and they live happily, if wetly, ever after
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1867 (Broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(965))
KEYWORDS: courting marriage wedding sea humorous sailor mermaid/man
FOUND IN: US(MW,SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Morris, #27, "Down in the Diving Bells" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Roud #5013
RECORDINGS:
Warde Ford, "The Mermaid (Down in the Diving Bell)" (AFS 4199 A2, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(965), "Down in the Diving Bell," J. Harkness (Preston) , 1840-1866
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Mermaid" (subject matter)
cf. "The Merman (Pretty Fair Maid with a Tail)" [Laws K24] (plot)
cf. "Married to a Mermaid" (theme of marrying a mermaid)
NOTES: I call this "Down in the Diving Bell" to differentiate it from "The Mermaid", and because it seems to have entered tradition under that title. The origin is almost certainly music-hall or vaudeville. - PJS
Bodleian Harding B 11(965) has no reference to the Atlantic cable (which would have set an early date of 1865; an article on the diving bell was printed in 1771 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (source: The History of the Diving Bell by Arthur J Bachrach, Ph.D. on the Historical Diving Society site.)) - BS
Last updated in version 3.7
File: RcDitDB

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 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.