Boston Burglar, The [Laws L16]

DESCRIPTION: The youth is brought up by honest parents, but turns wild. At last he is taken and, despite his parents' entreaties, sentenced to transportation (in American texts, prison). He dreams of release, plans to give up bad ways, and warns others to do the same
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(4372)); c.1840 (broadside, NLScotland APS.4.86.33); Anderson dates his broadside copy c. 1828
KEYWORDS: crime outlaw trial punishment warning father mother transportation prison
FOUND IN: US(All) Britain(England(West),Scotland) Australia Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (50 citations):
Laws L16, "Botany Bay A [Laws L16A]/The Boston Burglar (Botany Bay B) [Laws L16B]"
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #132, p. 1, "The Boston Smuggler" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan2 260, "Boston Smuggler" (3 texts)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 350, "Botany Bay" (1 text)
Cologne/Morrison-WiltshireFolkSongs, pp. 10-12, "Bot'ny Bay" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph 136, "The Louisville Burglar" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, pp. 52-53, "Boston City" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AmericanFolkSongsARegionalEncyclopedia1, p. 43, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text); also a broadside print on p. 45
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 85, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 131, "Botany Bay" (1 short text); 137, "The Boston Burglar" 1 text pllus an excerpt and mention of 1 more, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, pp. 64-65, "Bound for Charlers Town"; pp. 96-97, "Bound for Sydney Town"; pp. 139-140, "Moreton Bay"; pp. 257-258, "Boston City" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Anderson-StoryOfAustralianFolksong, pp. 6-7, "Botany Bay II" (1 text, 1 tune)
Anderson-FarewellToOldEngland, pp. 31-32, "The Transport, or Botany Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal-OldBushSongs-CentenaryEdition, pp. 48-50, "The Botany Bay Transport" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 53-54, "Boston Burglar" (1 text)
Flanders/Ballard/Brown/Barry-NewGreenMountainSongster, pp. 253-254, "Botany Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sturgis/Hughes-SongsFromTheHillsOfVermont, pp. 40-43, "Botany Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-FolksongsFromMarthasVineyard, pp. 42-44, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 220, "Botany Bay; p. 222, "The Boston Burglar" (2 texts)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 114, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bethke-AdirondackVoices, "The Colton Boy" (1 short text)
Carey-MarylandFolkloreAndFolklife, pp. 61-62, "TheBoston Burglar" (1 text)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 242, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text plus 2 excerpts and mention of 3 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 242, "The Boston Burglar (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 56, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #208, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 69-71, "Botany Bay (The Boston Burglar)" (1 text)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 289-296, "The Boston Burglar" (5 texts plus a fragment of a playparty, with local titles "The Boston Burglar," "Covington," "I Was Borned and Raised in Covington," "Frank James, the Burglar" (which despite the title is clearly not about Jesse's brother), "The Boston Burglar"; 3 tunes on pp. 433-435)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, pp. 243-244, "To Huntsville" (1 text, which seems to have lost the beginning)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #134, "The Boston Burglar" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 41, "The Boston Burglar" (2 texts plus mention of 3 more)
Fahey-Eureka-SongsThatMadeAustralia, pp. 10-11, "Bound for Botany Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H691, p. 119, "Botany Bay"; H202, pp. 119-120, "The Boston Burglar" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 44, "Boston City" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin/Cronin-TheSongsOfElizabethCronin 149, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text)
Dibblee/Dibblee-FolksongsFromPrinceEdwardIsland, p. 73, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Finger-FrontierBallads, pp. 88-89, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, pp. 132-133, "Louisville Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadEmAndWeep, pp. 158-160, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 23, pp. 57-58, "The Boston Burglar"; pp. 59-60, "Charlestown" (2 texts)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 84, "The Boston Burglar" (3 texts)
Cox/Hercog/Halpert/Boswell-WVirginia-A, #29, p. 105, "The Boston Burglar" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 92, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 101, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 96, "Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Guigné-ForgottenSongsOfTheNewfoundlandOutports, pp. 70-72, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-BarroomBallads/PiousFriendsDrunkenCompanions, pp. 162-163, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 108-110, "Botany Bay"; "Louisville Burglar" (2 texts)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 67, "The Boston Burglar" (1 text)

Roud #261
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Boston Burglar" (OKeh 40419, 1925)
Vernon Dalhart, "Boston Burglar" (Brunswick 2942, 1925) (Edison 51608 [as Vernon Dalhart & Co.], 1925)
Hickory Nuts, "Louisville Burglar" (OKeh 45169, 1927; on RoughWays2, ConstSor1)
Frank Hutchison, "The Boston Burglar" (OKeh 45425, 1930; rec. 1929)
Amelia Kinslow, "The Boston Burglar" (on NFAGuigné01)
Claude Moye, "Boston Burgular" (Gennett 6748 [as Pie Plant Pete]/Champion 15752 [as Asparagus Joe]/Supertone 9351 [as Pie Plant Pete], 1929) (Conqueror 8435 [as Pie Plant Pete], 1934)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Louisville Burglar" (on NLCR02)
Riley Puckett, "The Boston Burglar" (Columbia 15050-D, 1926; rec. 1925)
L. D. Smith, "Frank James, the Roving Gambler (The Boston Burglar)" (AFS; on LC14)
Carl T. Sprague, "The Boston Burglar" (Victor 20534, 1927)

Bodleian, Harding B 11(4372), "Botany Bay" ("Come all young men of learning, take warning by me"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Firth c.17(55), "The Transport" or "Botany Bay"
NLScotland, APS.4.86.33, "The Edinburgh Convicts," Walker (Durham), after 1840

cf. "Harrison Town" (theme)
cf. "The Prisoner's Song (II)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The Coon-Can Game" [Laws I4] (floating lyrics)
cf. "Bluefield Murder" (lyrics, form)
cf. "Terrell" (lyrics, form)
Bound for Charlestown
Bound for Sydney Town
I Was Born in Boston
NOTES [139 words]: For the history of the penal colony (that never was) at Botany Bay, see the song with that title.
The original version of the piece was a transportation song to Botany Bay, but this seems to have been largely overshadowed by the ""X Burglar" type, so we have lumped them and filed them under the "Burglar" type.
The subfamily of texts known as "The Boston Burglar" is now credited (Marks, Spaeth, Cazden et al; cf. Randolph) to Michael J. Fitzgerald. The amount of reworking done by Fitzgerald, however, was slight, and older and newer versions continue to mix. - RBW
One of the Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia references goes under the name "Moreton Bay". This should not be confused with the song by the same name, indexed as "Moreton Bay (I), which includes the killing by an Aborigine of the oppressive Captain Logan. - PJS
Last updated in version 5.2
File: LL16

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