#02254
Jack The Jolly Tar (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Yarmouth Town (Ryan's Fancy)
And also: Jolly Jack (The Punters)
And also: Yarmouth Town (Great Big Sea)

Now Jack arrived at London City,
The people said he can't be witty,
But Jack thought he heard the people say
That he in the street that night should lay.
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

Now to lie in the street was not Jack's fancy,
The squire walked along with lovely Nancy,
And Jack thought he heard lovely Nancy say,
That the squire in her arms that night should lay.
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

She said, "I'll tie a string to my little finger,
And then pass it through my little room window,
And you come there and pull the string,
And I'll come down and let you in."
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

"Well," says Jack, "I'm sure to win her,
I'll pull that string she'll put through the window."
And Jack went there and pulled the string,
And the lady by mistake came down and let him in.
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

Now then Jack gets into his heart's desire,
The lady thought Jack was the squire;
And the squire came there looking for the string,
And Jack was after the pluckin' of it in.
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

Now then early in the morning the fair one woken,
She felt like one that was heart-broken,
For to see Jack's tarry pants and shirt,
And his face and his hands all smeared with dirt.
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

She said,
"What brought you here you naughty fellow,
To rob me of my virgin pillow?"
"Well," said Jack, "I pulled the string,
And you came down and let me in."
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

She said, "I'll give you gold, I'll give you money,
If you don't mention this to anybody."
"Well," said Jack, "give me the gold,
I'll not mention it to any soul."
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

Now then Jack gets married to lovely Nancy,
She dressed him up just to her fancy;
And he treats his ship-mates with rum and gin,
Saying, "Damn your eyes go pull the string!"
Fall the doll diddle I doh, ripe diddle laddie oh day.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Jack The Jolly Tar (I), [Laws K40] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of an old British broadside ballad The Merchant's Courtship To The Brazier's Daughter, published without a publisher's name and without a date, and archived at The Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 22(169) ....####
This variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock and published with three different tunes in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.288-290, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this little ballad is quite popular in Newfoundland. Known widely on both sides of the Atlantic, it has been quoted in various collections. It originated in England, and some variants sound as if it had once been on stage.

A variant was arranged and recorded as Jolly Jack by The Punters (Said She Couldn't Dance, 1998).


See more songs by The Punters.

A variant was arranged and recorded as Yarmouth Town by Ryan's Fancy (Ryan's Fancy Live ©1975, Audat Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A variant was also recorded as Yarmouth Town by Great Big Sea (Sea Of No Cares, 2002).

See more songs by Great Big Sea.

A variant was also published as #50, Tarry Sailor, in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968.

A variant was also collected by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] and published as #38, Jack In London City, in Folksongs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971; Oxford, 1934).

A variant was collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from Linda Dawe Slade-Byrne of Kingwell and Arnold's Cove, Placentia Bay, and St John's, NL, and published as #63, Jolly Jack Tar, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.111-112, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003). A footnote on page 112 says that Linda Slade learned the song from Mack Masters, one of the foremost singers in Placentia Bay.



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