“The Gallant Brigantine”


A sailor and a girl meet. She gives him her address, saying her husband would be glad to meet them. He mentions his wife and newborn son. They go off to her farm hand in hand; sailor, woman, and husband spend dinner and a pleasant afternoon together


For this they wrote a ballad? - PJS

Even more amazing, the thing seems to have been fairly popular. Laws remarks, "This tongue-in-cheek narrative achieves its effect by repeatedly disappointing the listener's anticipation of stock situations of broadside balladry." - RBW

In Mrs. Gallagher's version, the last line is a teaser, leading you to expect that the sailor discovers his wife has run off with another man, but in fact she has had a baby son. - PJS

Ives-NewBrunswick: The final verse changes the tone entirely: "... the girl I loved so dear was the wife of another man, And I really thought my heart would break as I sailed for a foreign land." - BS


  • Mrs. Edward Gallagher, "My Gallant Brigantine" (on MRHCreighton)


  1. Laws D25, "The Gallant Brigantine"
  2. FSCatskills 127, "The Islands of Jamaica" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Peacock, pp. 218-223, "My Gallant Brigantine" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  4. Leach-Labrador 88, "Jamaica Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Lehr/Best 39, "The Gallant Brigantine" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Creighton-NovaScotia 36, "Gallant Brigantine" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 142-143, "The Gallant Brigantine" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  8. Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 46-49, "The Gallant Brigantine" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Manny/Wilson 69, "The Gallant Brigantine" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. DT 670, GALLBRIG
  11. Roud #648
  12. BI, LD25


Alternate titles: “Henry Orrison”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1932 (Creighton-NovaScotia)
Keywords: courting husband wife
Found in: US(MA,MW,NE) Canada(Mar,Newf)