Jack Monroe (song)

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"Jack Monroe" (Roud 268 and Laws N7), (also known as "Jack Munro," "Jackie Monroe," "Jacky Robinson", "Jack-A-Roe," "Jackaroe," "Jackaro," "Jackie Frazier," "Jack the Sailor," "Jack Went A-Sailing," "The Love of Polly and Jack Monroe", "The Maid of Chatham", among other titles,) is a traditional ballad of uncertain (though presumably British) origin. American broadsides of the song date back to around 1830. The ballad describes the journey of a woman who disguises herself as the eponymous Jack Monroe to board a sailing ship and save her lover, a soldier. The song is a staple of the folk rock repertoire and has been performed by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and, more commonly, The Grateful Dead (as "Jack-A-Roe"). In 1931, Florence Reece used this tune for her song "Which Side Are You On?". Also performed by Melora Creager of Rasputina on Ancient Cross-Dressing Songs.

Collected versions[edit]

This song has been collected 17 times in Scotland. It has only been found twice in England - as "The Maid of Chatham" by Sabine Baring-Gould in Devon in 1893,[1] and as "Jacky Robinson" by Ralph Vaughan Williams in Essex.[2][3]



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