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
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #27, "Down in the Diving Bells" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Roud #5013
Warde Ford, "The Mermaid (Down in the Diving Bell)" (AFS 4199 A2, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(965), "Down in the Diving Bell," J. Harkness (Preston) , 1840-1866
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 [85 words]: 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
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File: RcDitDB

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