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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DonD Origins: The Charleston Merchant (21) Origins: The Charleston Merchant 06 Mar 04

I've know this song for decades from the recording by Dyer-Bennett, and Google confirms the lyrics I know at the St. Olaf's College site, which describes it as a 'broadside ballad' but it's not on the DT that I can find.

I'm curious about its age, origin, etc. Does it refer to Charleston, South Carolina, or is there one in the British Isles? Do/did tailors have a reputation for lechery, being "ladies' men"? I recall that milkmen and plumbers were suggested as the look-alikes for many children, but I never heard anyone saying, "The baby doesn't look like my family; he looks like the tailor." Did You?

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