This is a series of posts about the #TradSongTues project, run by various people at the University of Sheffield. Every week I've been recording a song for the theme, sharing it and talking about it. Come and play on Twitter!
Another song i learned just for this week, Sailor's Tragedy:
I learned this from the reprint of The Wanton Seed, which had a new edition released 4(?) years ago. It's a really nice book, and the follow up (Southern Harvest) is also really good. So good that I took it on my honeymoon (and promptly didn't learn anything from it. I was busy)
There's not a lot of information in The Wanton Seed about where it was collected from1, apart from the fact it comes from George Blake, with 3 stanza from Sam Gregory and an unnamed old man in Marlborough Workhouse.
I'm not sure how I feel about it. The sailor in question is definitely not the hero of the story, and for the first few verses it seems it's on his side. I might tweak it a bit to correct that. I do like the end where a spirit comes in and sinks a boat in a flame of fire.
I actually found this quite annoying, especially since the Folk Songs of Australia book I got the Maid and the Magpie from had lots of information about the singer and how the songs were collected. I think it depends on the book though. ↩︎