Subscribe to our Newsletter

William Taylor

Back to browse page
Performer: Timms, Mrs
Place Collected: Buckland
Date collected: 1909 (6 Apr)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 158

This tale contains threads found in other folk songs, such as the jilted lover, the girl dressing as a sailor and going to sea, etc. The unlikely ending to this song is that the girl who commits murder (or perhaps just attempted murder) is not arrested for her actions, but rather praised and rewarded. However, other endings are available. In one broadside version, the lady marries the captain who rewarded her, but in some versions the lady drowns herself out of grief after the shooting.  Versions go back to the 18th century and it has been found on both sides of the Atlantic.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 7 July 2015