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The Ship that never Returned

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Place Collected: Gloucester
Date collected: 1957
Collector: Ballinger, Brian
Roud Number: 775

The song was written by the American Henry Clay Work (1832-1884), who wrote many songs that became well known, including “Grandfather’s Clock” and “Marching through Georgia”. The song itself took root in the oral tradition and many British country singers have taken it up. Curiously, more versions have been collected in recent years than in the earlier years of the song, perhaps because collectors considered it too music hall for their tastes.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 17 May 2015