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Phoebe and the Dark-eyed Sailor

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Alternative title: Dark-eyed Sailor, The

Performer: Pitts, Charles
Place Collected: Brize Norton
Date collected: 1935 (3 Oct)
Collector: Albino, H.H.
Roud Number: 265

Versions of this song go back to the 18th century, when it was printed as “Fair Phoebe and her Dark-eyed Sailor”. It is a typical ‘broken token’ ballad with the lovers breaking a token or coin between them, to be joined together when the sailor/soldier returns from sea/the war. This is one of the most well-known of this genre, with versions appearing regularly on both sides of the Atlantic, even in recent times.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 7 September 2015