Talk:Bobby Shafto

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Wouldn't this entry be complete only with a line or two from the rhyme? I'm completely unfamiliar, as are, I'm sure, many readers out there.

This might be the one... -- 00:56, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
There should be no copyright issues with the inclusion of the lyrics of the rhyme if someone can find and add them.--Peta 01:26, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Find 'em? Wy aye man! Ah grew up wirrem! Djdaedalus 02:53, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I definitely remember more verses:

A couple - Bobby Shaftoe had a hen Cockle button, cockle ben. She laid eggs for gentlemen But none for Bobby Shaftoe

Bobby Shaftoe had a cow Black and white about the mow Open the gates and let her through Bobby's ane cow.

A little parody popped up in the 1970's: Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea / silver buckles on his knee/ (he's very popular on the ship....)


A midi with the tune would be nice (alternatively an Ogg if a midi can't be found or made) Nil Einne 16:17, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

more information[edit]

According to a wealth of information at the original lyrics as in Source "A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs", published by Joseph Cawhall, 1888

Bobby Shaftoe's gyen to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back an' marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's bright and fair,
Kaimin' doon his yellow hair;
He's my awn for iver mair,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaaftoe's getten a bairn
For to dandle on his airm;
In his airm an' on his knee,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's gyen to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back an' marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Although I think one might justify quoting a subsection of an article for discussion purposes as 'fair use', I don't think I could justify quoting the entire article mentioned above, however there is clearly more information available that if permission is granted might be cited, including a midi file and sheet music.

(The 'bairn' is a term still widely used in Scotland and presumably Newcastle instead of child or 'kid').
The silver buckles would be of breeks, britches or knee breeches which at that time were a popular very tight pair of trousers which usually end just below the knee.
There is no blatent and unavoidably obvious wiki association with the tune 'Bobby Shaftoe' and the second politician of the name 'Robert Shafto'. I feel that the link should be much more obvious because the song would not exist but for the man concerned who really did exist.
Aethandor (talk) 11:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

To be honest, I don't really see that there is much more information on that page than is in this article already, but the the primary sources it lists would be good for citing the lyrics perhaps, which are after all very public domain by now. I guess the midi file would also be a good thing to link to. Thanks. Bob talk 11:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)


Since the identification of Robert Shaftoe MP and Bobby Shaftoe nursery rhyme is disputed there should be two articles as this is confusion and means that neither article can actually be about the thing they concern. There could be a separate article as 'Bobby Shafto (rhyme)' which takes the info on the rhyme, that was deleted after my edit. Or, this (since it has the name of the rhyme) could remain the article for the rhyme and there could be a new article that takes the info on Robert Shafto MP. Given that there are several MPs with the same name I would not be against the first solution. Obviously the two articles would need to cross reference.--Sabrebd (talk) 17:57, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I see what you're saying, it's just I actually started this page about the MP, making reference to the song, rather than the other way around. Apart from trivia and 'cultural references', there isn't much more to say about he song, but when combined with the MP it suddenly becomes more interesting, and even if it does have Irish roots, it's very much considered a North Eastern song now. I think perhaps the best solution would be to add a section about the possible Irish origins, and other interpretations, etc, plus perhaps the addition campaign verses (although I'd rather it didn't end up like the page on the Drunken Sailor, which is absurdly long now!). The reference you used is certainly well worth adding. Bob talk 18:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I have given this some thought. I think the problem is that the nursery rhyme needs its own article as otherwise it might overshadow the historical character. If it is agreed I will put a version of the page as I edited it on Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea (another reason is the convention seems to be to refer to rhymes by their first line). Lets hope it doesn't end up like the drunken sailor (shudder). I do not see any reason you can't keep the biography here and even some of the rhyme if you think it is appropriate, or you can just refer to the page. That way they won't conflict if they get expanded.--Sabrebd (talk) 09:18, 12 April 2009 (UTC) I have now done so. This article now needs a little editing to not repeat some of the information in that article.--Sabrebd (talk) 09:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Can anyone find out when he was MP for Downton? --Sabrebd (talk) 11:21, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks that was very useful,--Sabrebd (talk) 15:36, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

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