I must confess that Jon threw me a real curve ball with this, possibly down to the original source for him being, “From the same tape that I learnt Across The Line from. That tape was partly responsible for getting me into Peter Bellamy as I bootlegged (taped – Ed.) Songs & Rummy Conjuring Tricks on the back of it, even though I thought it was awful. Repeat listening thanks to auto-reverse cured me of my ignorance.” His given title of Blow The Wind High-O (or Ho) seemed to be a completely different song, so it took a bit of Googling to get to the correct title of 10,000 Miles Away (perhaps obvious because of the lyrics!) and once again to the pen of Joseph Bryan Geoghegan (as with Hey John Barleycorn on Sept 20th), dated 1870. Mudcat has it amongst his know compositions here and again this is the best stab at painting the picture of his life. Certainly the lyrical reference to catching the train chimes with that and this Mudcat thread will tell you more about both the song and its author, although perhaps appropriately for the nautical theme has a couple of red herrings in the mix (including yet another song.) So, not a sailors’ song at all more of a Victorian theatre, Music Hall number or parlour song. Jolly good though.
(Blow The Winds High-O ) Ten Thousand Miles Away