Mudcat Café message #2417994 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113640   Message #2417994
Posted By: Desert Dancer
19-Aug-08 - 04:13 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Broomfield Wager
Subject: RE: Origins: Broomfield Wager
As Terry says, it's supposed to be "had his will": it was mistakenly (or in fun?) changed to "hold the wheel" for a period in one community, then that error perpetuated among revival singers -- here's the quote with italics:

"On Cyril's first recording of the song, made by the BBC (Child Ballads Vol I, Topic 12T160, 1961 [originally Caedmon]), singer and audience constantly interject the phrase hold the wheel. This allegedly arose as a result of the singer trying to explain the story to a visiting yachtsman who misunderstood had his way as hold the wheel, but by the 1970s Cyril had gone back to the old way of singing it."

I agree about the slumbering men...

~ Becky in Tucson