“Down by the Seaside”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1956 (recorded from George Maynard)
Keywords: grief virtue love separation death ship lover sailor
Found in: Britain(England(South))

Description

Singer meets young woman and asks her to walk with him. She declines; she's searching for her true love. Looking through an opera glass, she spies his ship; hearing that he has been shot, she despairs; if he died for honor, she will die for love

Notes

This is a conundrum; it starts out as a classic John-Riley-lover-in-disguise ballad, but halfway through does not take the usual sharp turn of revealing the stranger to be the lover returned. Instead, it proceeds in a straight line to the young man's death and the woman's bereavement. - PJS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #1712
  2. BI, RcDBTSS