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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleSilvery tide
Roud No.561
Collected FromBaughn, Thomas
LocationSouth Cerney
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 142
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 29th January, 1916, p 2, Part 16, No. 3
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

It's of a fair young creature who dwelt by the sea side,
Her lovely form and feature, she was called the Village Pride;
She was admired by lords and squires, but still it was all in vain,
For true she was to Henry whilst on the watery main.

Verse 2

As a nobleman was walking one morning to take the air,
Down by the foaming ocean he met this lady fair;
"Now," says this artful villain, "consent to be my bride
Or you'll sink or swim, far, far from him who is on the silvery tide."

Verse 3

With trembling heart [lips] says Mary - "My vows I ne'er can break,
For Henry I love dearly, I will die for his sweet sake."
With his handkerchief he tied her hands and plunged her o'er the side,
And quickly she went floating down on the silvery tide.

Verse 4

Now it happened, a few days after, young Henry came from the sea,
And, thinking to live happy, he thought on the wedding day;
"We believe your love is murdered," her aged parents cried,
"She has caused her own destruction down in the silvery tide."

Verse 5

As young Henry on his pillow lay he could not take his rest,
For the thought of pretty Mary disturbed his wounded breast;
So he arose at midnight gloom, and at midnight gloom goes he,
To wander the sandbanks over, down by the raging sea.

Verse 6

It was daybreak in the morning when young Mary's corpse he spied,
As to and fro it went floating down on the silvery tide;
He knew it was young Mary, by his own ring on her hand,
And when he saw this silk handkerchief it put him to a stand.

Verse 7

As he undid this silk handkerchief, therein full soon he spied,
Who had cruelly murdered Mary down on the silvery tide:
This nobleman was taken and the gallows was his doom,
For ending pretty Mary, who'd scarcely attained her bloom.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'I have heard a few lines of this song in several villages far removed from each other, but I have only met with once in its complete form. This was at South Cerney, where I obtained the copy of Mr Thomas Baughan.'

Note 2

In Verse 1, Line 1 the original text read:

It's of a fair young creature who dwelt down by the sea side,

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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