Category: Traditional folk song

William Taylor

The rather arresting portrait is of Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1778-1841), later Queen of Hanover. A strong character, like the lady in our song. Notwithstanding the violence this almost burlesque song collected by Cecil Sharp was printed in Folk Songs for Schools in 1910. “If young folks…

Dabbling In The Dew

Collected many times in the southern counties of England, Stephen Sedley wrote: ‘This innocuous song has suffered severely at the hands of expurgators in the past.’ The painting is by Alexander Averin.

The Fair Maid On The Shore

Several versions of this song have been collected in Newfoundland. On The Seashore (1879) is by George Elgar Hicks (1824-1914).


W B Whall, Master Mariner, published this song in Sea Songs & Shanties, 1910, noting that it was very popular 1860-1870. It’s uncertain whether the ‘original’ song refers to Boston Massachusetts or Boston Lincolnshire. The painting is the Clippership Alert Leaving Boston c. 1835 by…

The Keeper

Robert Kinchin (63) at Wilmington, Warwickshire, sang this to Cecil Sharp on 23 August 1909. It was considered too ‘near the mark’ to be printed as it stood so was edited for schools. I’m singing that original unexpurgated version here and I’m blowed if…

The Turtle Dove

Collected by Cecil Sharp.

Henry Martin

A very old ballad with countless variants. The ship is Eye Of The Wind from Classic Sailing.