Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

A Collection Of Traditional & Folk Songs of the area with Lyrics & Commentaries -online book

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Poor Old Horse
This song, of English origin but adapted by tradition to localities in Maine, was originally sung as part of a sailors' ceremony known as "the burial of the dead horse," a full account of which (with a text of the song) is given by Evelyn A. Melvill Richards in Folk-Lore, 1897, VIII, 281-283. F°r English texts (with tune) see also Bullen and Arnold, Songs of Sea Labour, No. 29, p. 25; Tozer, Sailors* Songs, 3d ed., No. 47, pp. 88-89; Whall, Sea Songs and Shanties, 4th ed., p. 119; Sharp, English Folk-Chanteys, No. 47, p. 52. It has often been used as a chantey. A fragmentary American text (with tune) may be found in Admiral Luce's Naval Songs, 2d ed., 1902, p. 224.
A somewhat similar song ("Poor Old Horse"), though quite distinct from this, is current in England. See Sharp, One Hun­dred English Folksongs, pp. xxxix, 196-197; Sharp, English Folk Songs, Selected Edition, II, xviii, 88-89; Sharp, Folk-Songs of England, IV, 16-17; Sharp and Marson, Folk Songs from Somerset, I, 54; Baring-Gould and Sharp, English Folk-Songs for Schools, No. 20, pp. 42-43. This is common in recent English broadsides (Forth, Pocklington; J. Livsey, Manchester, No. 240; Bebbington, Manchester, No. 140; Cadman, Manchester, No. 23)) but the oldest printed text recorded is in a Boston, Massachusetts, broadside in the Isaiah Thomas collection (formed in 1813) in the library of the American Antiquarian Society (II, 120), "My Old Horse."
This little chantey, Professor L. M. Merrill {Orono, Maine) says, was taught him by his mother. He adds, "/ understand that the song was once in general use along the New England coast." "Saccarappa" was the old name of Westbrook, Maine.
I "Old horse, old horse/how came you here?" "From Saccarap to Portland pier I Ve carted stone for many a year.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III