“My Jolly Shantyboy”


The singer overhears a girl praising her shantyboy and lamenting that her parents dislike him. She is advised to marry a drygoods clerk rather than "throw herself away." But "If I had my will I'd love him still, my jolly shantyboy."


Fowke considers this a reworking of "The Bonny Laboring Boy" [Laws M14], and this is nearly certain; it's absolutely certain that it's derived from a song of that type. I thought about lumping them, as I did with "The Railroad Boy." But this song is so defective (only two stanzas) that we cannot tell its final outcome; I think it has to remain separate until we find a version with an ending. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Fowke-Lumbering #55, "My Jollu Shantyboy" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4383
  3. BI, FowL55


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1957 (Fowke)
Found in: Canada(Que)