"Shepherds have you seen my love, Have you seen my Anna? Pride of every shady grove Upon the banks of Banna." The singer left home and herd for Anna; he will not return to them until he finds her. In some versions he finds her and they are happy.
Banks of Banna, The Complete text(s) *** A *** From Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, pp. 236-237. From the 1795 journal of the sloop Joseph Francis of Boston. Shepherds have you seen my love Have you seen my Anna Pride of every shady grove Upon the banks of Banna I for her my home forsook Near yon mighty mountain Left my flock my pipe my hook Greenwood shade and fountain Never shall I see them more Until her returning All the joys of life are o'er From gladness turned to mourning Whither is my charmer flown Shepherds tell who've seen her Ah woe's me perhaps she's gone Forever and forever
Huntington says that this song is found in Chappell. The closest equivalent I can find in that book is "Shepherd, Saw Thou Not." They do not appear to me to be the same song; "The Banks of Banna" is much simpler and has at least some of the qualities of a folk song, though field collections are rare - RBW
There are three variations among [the Bodleian broadsides]. All begin with the first four verses: she's lost and "perhaps she's gone For ever and for ever." Some stop there: Firth b.34(13), Johnson Ballads fol. 9 and Firth b.28(10a/b) View 2 of 8; some have her return ("Flocks did sport and lambs did play, All around my lovely Anna"): Firth c.18(50) and Harding B 25(56), named "Anna"; and one has him meet her by surprise ("With joy I clasp'd her round the waist"): Firth b.27(484a). - BS
Sir George Ogle the Younger (c. 1740-1814) was a poet and politician born in county Wexford. He served in the Irish parliament in the 1790s, and was briefly a Tory representative to Westminster. His best-known works are considered to be "Banna's Banks" (i.e. this piece) and "Molly Astore" (in this index as "Gramachree"); in this Index he is also contributed "The Hermit of Killarney." - RBW