Folksong and Fantasy

I was at a folk festival a couple of weeks ago and Ioscaid were playing. I hadn’t heard them before but hope I will again very soon. One of the songs in their set seemed familiar enough to start with, being a tale of a young sailor led astray by strong drink and a pretty face. As always, he wakes in the morning having lost his money and his clothes. In this version of the song, however, he finds something as well, a shaving kit. A close shave indeed: as well for him he ‘fell asleep before she earned her fee’.

There’s quite a lot of cross-dressing in folk songs. Usually it’s women dressing as men and serving as sailors or soldiers. This is not without real life precedent: Hannah Snell served in India, concealing her sex despite being wounded in battle, and was paid an army pension after her…

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We are several novels in search of a publisher. And a few more of us have found a publisher, but enjoy the company here anyway. View all posts by authorsanon

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