“Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket”


A dying sailor [lumberjack, stockman] bids his comrades farewell, asking them to "wrap me up" in his work clothing and make other arrangements for his funeral. (He recalls his early life and hopes to sleep undisturbed)


Compare the modern song "Fiddler's Green," which may have been inspired by this piece.

The number of parodies of this piece ("The Dying Stockman," "The Dying Lumberman") is astonishing, but most seem to have evolved rather than being deliberate rewrites. The Australian version known as "Cant-Hook and Wedges" claims to be an exception; the informants claim to have written it. Certainly the piece has modern elements (e.g. a reference to the Model T Ford), but one is still inclined to doubt that it was created deliberately. - RBW

The contemplator.com Songs of England site has a version beginning "A tall stalwart lancer lay dying" with a note that "This appears in the Scottish Student's Handbook. The words were written by G. J. Whyte-Melville (1821-1878). The air was written by Charles Coote."

It is too easy to get hung up on the "wrap me up" line as a unique marker. In Peacock the line is just to "dress up in blue jacket and trousers," but that is the only substantial difference between Peacock and the broadsides. - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(1594)[some illegible words], "The Rakish Young Fellow," Angus (Newcastle), 1774-1825 ; also Harding B 11(3215), Harding B 16(218b), Harding B 25(1595)[some illegible words], Harding B 16(219a), Harding B 11(1211), Harding B 11(3216), Firth c.22(67)[almost entirely illegible but what is legible is recognizable as this song], Harding B 11(680), "[The] Rakish Young Fellow"


  • Frank Crumit, "Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket" (HMV [UK] B-8032, c. 1933)
  • John Greenway, "The Dying Stockman" (on JGreenway01)
  • Tex Morton, "Wrap Me Up With My Stockwhip and Blanket" (Regal Zonophone [Australia] G22904, n.d.)


  1. Friedman, p. 439, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text)
  2. Meredith/Anderson, pp. 90-91, 226, "The Dying Stockman"; pp. 118-119, "The Dying Bagman" (3 texts, 3 tunes); also probably pp. 264-265, "Cant-Hook and Wedges" (2 texts)
  3. Fahey-Eureka, pp. 170-171, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 221-223, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text)
  5. Sandburg, pp. 436-437, "Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket and The Handsome Young Airman" (2 short texts, 1 tune, with the "A" text going here and the "B" text being "The Dying Aviator")
  6. Thorp/Fife XIII, pp. 148-190 (29-30), "Cow Boy's Lament" (22 texts, 7 tunes, the "K" text being in fact a version of "The Old Stable Jacket")
  7. Manifold-PASB, pp. 82-83, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  8. Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 281-282, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Greenleaf/Mansfield 47, "Tarpaulin Jacket" (2 texts)
  10. Leach-Labrador 98, "Jolly Best Lad" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Peacock, pp. 880-881, "A Rambling Young Fellow" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Roud #829
  14. BI, FR439


Alternate titles: “The Old Stable (Sable) Jacket”; “Derrydown Fair”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1826 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1594))
Found in: Britain Canada(Newf) US Australia