Bold Princess Royal, The [Laws K29]

DESCRIPTION: The Princess Royal is overtaken by an unknown ship which tries to come alongside. The captain realizes that the other is a pirate, and safely outruns the other.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c.1870 (broadside, NLScotland L.C.Fol.70(145))
KEYWORDS: ship pirate escape
FOUND IN: US(NE,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(Lond),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland
REFERENCES (24 citations):
Laws K29, "The Bold Princess Royal"
OShaughnessy-YellowbellyBalladsPart1 6, "The Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 142-143, "The Bold Princess Royal" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, pp. 148-149, "The Fair Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, p. 421, "The Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill-SongsOfTheSea, p. 132, "The Fourteenth of February" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 35, "The Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 835-836, "The Bold Princess Royal" (1 texts, 2 tunes)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 75, "Bold Princess Royal" (1 text)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 53, "Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, p. 153, "The Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ranson-SongsOfTheWexfordCoast, p. 91, "Kelly, the Pirate" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-FolksongsOfNewBrunswick, pp. 126-128, "The Bold Prince of Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eckstorm/Smyth-MinstrelsyOfMaine, pp. 256-257, "The Royal Prince Regent" (1 text)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 150, "The Prince Boys" (1 text, 1 tune, incorrectly equated with Laws K39)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 119, "The Lorena Bold Crew" (1 fragment)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 119, "The Lorena Bold Crew" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 26, "Buxter's Bold Crew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #1, "The Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Copper-SongsAndSouthernBreezes, pp. 206-207, "The Bold 'Princess Royal'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig/Duncan1 47, "The Bold Princess Royal" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Palmer-OxfordBookOfSeaSongs 57, "Bold Princess Royal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Frank-NewBookOfPirateSongs 20, "The Bold Princess Royal" (2 texts, 3 tunes; the first is composite; #20 in the first edition)

Roud #528
Harry Cox, "The Bold 'Princess Royal'" (on Voice12)
George Decker, "The Bold Princess Royal" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Sam Larner, "The Bold Princess Royal" (on SLarner01, SLarner02, HiddenE)
Bob Roberts, "The Bold Princess Royal" (on LastDays)

Bodleian, Firth c.12(63), "The Bold Princess Royal," H. Disley (London), 1860-1883; also Firth b.25(136), 2806 b.11(9), Harding B 11(384)[some illegibility], "The Bold Princess Royal"; Firth c.12(65), "The Old Princess Royal, and the Pirate Ship"
Murray, Mu23-y4:019, "Bold Princess Royal," unknown, 19C
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(145), "Bold Princess Royal," unknown, c.1870

cf. "Bold Kidd, the Pirate" (plot)
Buxter's Bold Crew
Prince of Royal
She Came Bearing Down On Us
NOTES [307 words]: Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland names the ship Prince of Royal and refers to a variant that calls the ship Royal Apprentice.
In Ranson-SongsOfTheWexfordCoast's version the usually anonymous pirate announces "This is Kelly, the Pirate"; that is the only mention of the name that gives the version its title.
Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 12" - 11.9.02: "Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen dates this song to the beginning of the American War of Independence." - BS
There were a number of British ships named Princess Royal; including a battlecruiser that fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 (unlike several of her sister ships, she survived). But the most famous was probably the flagship of the fleet of Admiral John Byron (1723-1786). Byron served in the Caribbean in the late 1770s, with limited results. At the Battle of Grenada, his fleet was mauled by a superior French force, and he ended up fleeing the fight. This, I would guess, is the basis of Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen's date (though she also mentions the usage of "glass" for an hour, a usage which died out about that time).
If Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen's guess is accurate, is it possible that this was inspired as some sort of slur on Byron for fleeing the battle?
The Eckstorm/Smyth-MinstrelsyOfMaine text, which is heavily folk processed, gives the ship name as the Royal Prince Regent, which name seems to be unique. Which is as it should be; while Britain has had many Princesses Royal, it has had only one Prince Regent: The future George IV when he was regent during the bouts of madness of his father George III. (There have been several other instances of de facto Princes Regent, usually uncles watching over their nephews, but the titles were different, e.g. "Lord Protector.") - RBW
Last updated in version 6.2
File: LK29

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