This sad tale is of a faithless young captain from Goole when his ship docks in Hull. After wooing his young love – a farmer’s daughter from Wetwang – he takes her past the wonderfully named Crocodile Mansions, to the banks of the Humber before sailing away without a care. A year later, returning to Hull from his travels he strolls down the Land of Green Ginger having forgotten all about her. People recognise him as the faithless young captain who left his love after making promises of marriage. Feeling unhappy about his tarnished reputation he heads off to Crocodile Mansions expecting her still to be there waiting for him. Alas, she is nowhere to be seen. The captain decides to drown his sorrows with a few beers where a drunken old sailor in the Dragon tells him the bitter truth – she’s dead. In the Humber. So, the story ends with him feeling sorry for himself – almost enough to shed a tear for his lost love. Serves him right really.
The Goole Captain, originally a poem by English poet and anthologist, Leonard Clark, was set to music by Nottingham based folk band, Fieldwork.
The second half of the song – The Doves Come Tumbling Down – is true. An original love song, its setting is inspired by the River Hull and the Humber landscape.
Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard