“Jolly Roving Tar”


Susan fondly recalls her sailor love. She sets out to ensure that her father's ships are well equipped for his sake. Finally she bids farewell to the local ladies and sets out to follow her "jolly roving tar."


Broadside Bodleian Harding B 26(302), "The Jolly Roving Tar ("As I roved out one evening in the pleasant month of May"), Haly (Cork), 19C, while undated, dates itself by its last add-on verse: "So now these lines are at an end the truth I will unfold Young Susan she got married to her young sailor bold With him she faced the Russians and feared no wound or scar, But now she lives contented with her jolly roving tar." - BS

[To clarify, the above verse probably implies a Crimean War date. But it could well be a late add-on -- note that there were few battles between British and Russian navies. - RBW]


  • Bodleian, Harding B 16(119c), "The Jolly Roving Tar," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Firth c.13(77), 2806 c.16(242), Harding B 11(859), Harding B 11(860), Harding B 26(302), Harding B 11(3444), Firth c.13(78), "The Jolly Roving Tar"


  1. Laws O27, "Jolly Roving Tar"
  2. SHenry H670, p. 293, "The Jolly Roving Tar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Creighton/Senior, p. 178, "Jolly Roving Tar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 12, "Jolly Roving Tar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. DT 744, JOLROVTR
  6. Roud #913
  7. BI, LO27


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1839 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 16(119c))
Found in: Canada(Mar) Ireland