Silk Merchant's Daughter (I), The [Laws N10]

DESCRIPTION: A girl's parents send her lover away. She dresses in men's clothes and follows him. Their ship sinks. In a lifeboat, she is chosen by lot to be killed for food; he is to kill her. (She reveals herself); they spot (land or a ship) and all are saved
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1794 (Journal of the Polly)
KEYWORDS: love exile cross-dressing ship wreck disaster cannibalism reprieve rescue sailor
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Newf,Ont) Britain(Scotland,England(South)) Ireland
REFERENCES (26 citations):
Laws N10, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter"
Greig/Duncan1 177, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 239, "As I Was A-Walking by Newgate One Day" (1 text)
Purslow-TheConstantLovers,pp. 91-92, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #4, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 296-298, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lane/Gosbee-SongsOfShipsAndSailors, pp. 150-251, "The Jolly Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-TheGam-MoreSongsWhalemenSang, pp. 184-185, "Constant Lovers (The Silk Merchant's Daughter)" (1 long but incomplete text, 2 tunes)
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 25, "The Castaways" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 63-64, "The Merchant's Daughter Turned Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Munnelly/Deasy-TheMountCallanGarland-Tom-Lenihan 1, "To Fair London Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 43, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 71, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 99, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (fragments of a text with narration of the plot as recalled by the informant)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 107, "The Silk-Merchant's Daughter" (2 texts)
Morri, #212, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 35, pp. 148-149, "The Silk-Merchant's Daughter" (1 text)
Grimes-StoriesFromTheAnneGrimesCollection, p. 29, "Seafaring Man" (1 text)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 43, "The Silk-Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, which Laws describes as "almost completely rewritten"; the boy goes to sea to avoid the girl)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 10, p. 21, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 fragment, probably this)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #42, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 64, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 64, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text)
Palmer-OxfordBookOfSeaSongs 61, "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), p. 78, "The Old Miser" (1 text, missing most of the action; it might be Laws N6 or Laws N10 or something else)

Roud #552
Tom Lenihan, "To Fair London Town" (on IRTLenihan01)
Dellie Norton, "The Silkmerchant's Daughter" (on OldTrad1, FarMts4)

Bodleian, Harding B 11(2698), "New York Streets" ("As I was a walking up New York street"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(3744), "The Silk Merchant's Daughter" ("As I was a-walking up New London street", unknown, n.d.; Harding B 25(1778), "The Silk Merchant's Daughter"
cf. "The Ship in Distress" (plot) and references there
cf. "MacDonald's Return to Glencoe (The Pride of Glencoe) [Laws N39]" (tune)
MacDonald's Return to Glencoe (The Pride of Glencoe) [Laws N39] (File: LN39)
Jamie and Nancy of Yarmouth
New England
The Rich Merchant's Daughter
File: LN10

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.