08 January 2010

Let me fish off Old Wyoming

You be the judge.

Otto Kelland is best known in Newfoundland as the writer of  the ballad “Let me fish off Cape St. Mary’s”, written in 1947.

 Now take a listen to this song - “The Hills of old Wyoming’ -  which dates from 1937 at the latest.

And if you really want to do a spit-take, try this sample of the song recorded in 2009.

Now that really isn’t the end of it. 

Same song?There’s a much older song – “Barbara Allen” – which has been documented from its first printing in 1750 and is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary from 1666. There are a great many variations on both the lyrics and tune for this song but some of the more common tunes sound suspiciously familiar to Kelland’s work and to the Wyoming song.


Updated with new video links:  June 2016