“The Little Clare Mary (Daily's Lifeboat)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1924 (Chappell)
Keywords: ship wreck disaster rescue cowardice
Found in: US(SE)


"When the tempest was raging And the seas running high The little Clara May came scudding down by." The ship strikes a rock. The captain says Dailey will come in his lifeboat, but he never does. The sailors are finally rescued by the Mary Louise


The notes in Brown describe their failure to find historical evidence for the events described here (which may explain the confusion in the name of the song: Brown's text calls it the Clara May, Chappell the Clare Mary). Nor is there evidence of cowardice in the (real) Dailey family.

Roud lumps several "lifeboat" songs under this number, but the other is a religious song. - RBW


  1. BrownII 289, "The Song of Dailey's Life-Boat" (1 text)
  2. Chappell-FSRA 32, "The Little Clare Mary" (1 text)
  3. Roud #6629
  4. BI, BrII289