Sealer Lad, The (The Fisherman's Son to the Ice is Gone)
DESCRIPTION: "The sealer lad from his home is gone, On board his ship you'll find him." The singer recalls the good old days of sealing, noting that now a load of seals "scarce pays Alfred's duty." He hopes the rich man at home will not longer profit
EARLIEST DATE: 1900 (Burke & Oliver)
KEYWORDS: hunting hardtimes
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ryan/Small, p. 69, "The Sealer Lad" (1 text); compare p. 134, "The Fisherman's Son to the Ice is Gone" (1 text)
NOTES: No tune is indicated for this, but the form strongly implies "The Minstrel Boy."
Since the first publication is in Burke and Oliver's The People's Songster, Buyers' Guide and Gems of Poetry and Prose, there is a good chance it's by John Burke.
The second text cited from Ryan/Small, "The Fisherman's Son to the Ice is Gone," slightly changes the occupation of the hero, and is much shorter -- but the two are clearly adaptions of each other. Either they're traditional, and one song, or, more likely, they aren't traditional, and might as well be lumped. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.