Another from the Watersons and Jon says, “No, not that kind of banker, although it would make sense of the bit where he runs away on board ship.”
This is another of those curious songs where the lyrics seem to get muddled to me, although I’m easily confused. But having said that this Mudcat post nails my concern, although reading through the Waterson’s version on Mainly Norfolk I can force it to work as a repetition, but only just. I wonder whether it should be “the answer that he gave” in the third verse, after she has turned him down in the second. Anyway the banker in question is a field worker or labourer rather than anything from the financial world, possibly working on dykes or drainage. Perhaps something to do with the waterways might explain the deck reference in the song. If you scroll up that Mudcat thread, however, the nautical connection to bank is made and that puts a whole new spin on things. There is clearly some association with Yorkshire given the Watersons’ version recorded seemingly for the county’s tourist board, but I’ve also come across a link to Wiltshire and the Upper Thames as well as suggested ties to Dorset and The Fens. Confused? I am and I’d appreciate any clarification that any of you can offer.
Bonus Track: Young Banker Live at The O’Reilly Theatre, Keeble College, Oxford.
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