The Black Joke, sometimes spelled Black Joak, was a bawdy song heard in London around 1730. William Hogarth referenced the song in the Tavern Scene of A Rake's Progress. The lyrics and tune apparently gave rise to variations from 1730 onwards, such as the White Joak and so forth. The tune was later known as The Sprig of Shillelagh. Thomas Moore (1779–1852) wrote the song "Sublime was the warning which Liberty spoke" to the tune.
- During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy employed several hired armed cutters that bore the name Black Joke.
- During the War of 1812, Black Joke was a nickname for the highly successful Nova Scotian privateer Liverpool Packet.
- In 1827 the British captured the slave ship Henriquetta and renamed her HMS Black Joke. She went on to become one of the most successful anti-slavery vessels in the West Africa or "Preventative squadron".
- "Black Joke". Digital Tradition Folk Music Database. April 1998. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
quite possibly the earliest Irish popular song to be printed with it own [sic] tune(lyrics and background)
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