Song Lyrics

Henry Martain


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[the specific lyrics Joni sang are unknown]


Late in 1963, Joni wrote out a list of 28 songs in her repertoire- of which this was one. All were presumably considered for performing at the 1963 'early' session in Saskatoon (released on Archive Series 1) although this one was not recorded.

"Henry Martin" (also "Henry Martyn" or "The Lofty Tall Ship") is a traditional Scottish folk song about Henry Martin, a seafarer who turns to piracy to support his two older brothers. The story of Andrew Bartin, based on the original ballad, was included in Francis James Child's collection of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Child's Ballads), as Child Ballad 167. However, over the years, through oral tradition, the song had been significantly shortened and the name of the protagonist changed from Andrew Barton to Henry Martin (or Henry Martyn). Joni clearly spelled it "Henry Martain".


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