“The Wreck of the Mary Jane”


A song to "dryland sailors" about the Mary Jane, bound from Taghmon with a crew of 200 and a cargo of dung. When the cargo shifts in a storm the captain gives up hope. Short of tobacco they plan to put in at a pub. They run ashore at a doctor's door.


Taghmon is in south central County Wexford (not on the coast). When the storm hits they steer for Timbuctoo, Mali, hardly a coastal port of call. The term "dryland sailor" -- to judge by broadside Bodleian, Firth c.12(409), "The Dryland Sailor!" ("I never was on board a ship ") -- refers to a panhandler who pretends to be an old sailor with faked injuries because "that's the thing that pays." - BS

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 20, "The Wreck of the Mary Jane" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #3026
  3. BI, Oloc020


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (OLochlainn)
Found in: Ireland