Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

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

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You Parliament of England
Admiral Luce, who prints a very imperfect text of this song (with tune) in his Naval Songs, 2d ed. (New York, 1902), p. 57, makes the following interesting note (p. viii): '"Ye Parliament of England/ was published, from an old Mss. copy, in the Portland, Me., Advertiser, in 1880, coupled with the request that anyone knowing the air, would kindly furnish it. For the Enterprise brought her prize, the Boxer, into Portland (a fact recorded in the fifth stanza), where the song was for years very popular. The request was complied with by Mr. Z. Thompson, who, under date of November 15th, 1880, wrote that he had sung the song when a boy, more than sixty years ago, and could still sing it. The air, as now published, was taken down from his rendering." The present editor has not found the song in oral circulation in Maine. Oddly enough, however, Miss Pound has recovered a fragment of it in Nebraska. She quotes four lines (stanza 5), but seems not to have identified the piece {Folk-Song oj Nebraska and the Central West, p. 69; Poetic Origins and the Ballad, pp. 203-204).
The date of the song may be rather accurately fixed as between the latter part of September, 1813 (when Perry's Victory of September 10 became known: stanza 6), and the end of the year (for the Essex reached Portsmouth on December 13, 1813, on her return from her cruise: see stanza 11).
The text here printed follows that in The American Songster, edited by John Kenedy, Baltimore, 1836, pp. 214-217. The text in McCarty, Songs, Odes, etc., 1842, II, 76-79, is practically identical. After the close of the War of 1812, the song was revised to fit new conditions. In this later form it may be found in various "songsters," — for example, in The Forget Me Not Song­ster (Philadelphia and New York, Turner & Fisher), pp. 87-89. Stanza 9 is omitted. Stanza 11 (which follows 8) will be found on the next page.

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