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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleBoatman
Roud No.1906
Collected FromUnknown
LocationUnknown
CountyUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleFair miad of Brighton
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 538; WSRO: 2598/28 Vol. 3 p 62
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I am a boatman by my trade,
Jack Williams is my name,
It was a false deluding girl,
Brought me to grief and shame.

Verse 2

To Saint Katherine's Street I did resort,
Where people did me know,
I fixed my mind on a false young girl,
And she proved my overthrow.

Verse 3

I went a-robbing night and day,
For to maintain her fine and gay,
And what I got I valued not,
But took to her straightaway.

Verse 4

Till at length to Newgate I was brought,
Bound down in irons strong,
With rattling chains around my legs,
And shelaughed to see them on.

Verse 5

I sent a letter to my love,
Some comfort for to find,
Instead of proving as a friend,
She proved to me unkind.

Verse 6

She in scornful manner said -
'I'll shun thieves' company.
So as you made your bed young man,
Down on it you must lie.'

Verse7

I thought these words were very hard,
And bitter to endure,
To think she'd no regard for me,
When I was low and poor.

Verse 8

Now in this lonesome cell I lie,
No better I deserve,
It makes my very blood run cold,
To think how I've been served.

Verse 9

The trial being over and sentence passed,
It's hanged I must be,
And it grieves my parents to the heart,
To think of my misery.

Verse 10

But Fortune it proved very kind,
As you can plainly see,
For I broke the gaol and fled away,
So I gained my liberty.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: no notes.

Williams, Alfred: RAUT Ms: No notes but the following text which differs from the above

Verse 1

I am a boatman by my trade,
Jack Williams is my name,
It was a false deluding girl,
Brought me to grief and shame.

Verse 2

I went a-robbing night and day,
For to maintain her fine and gay,
And what I got I valued not,
But took to her straightaway.

Verse 3

Till at length to Newgate I was brought,
Bound down in irons strong,
With rattling chains around my legs,
And she laughed to see them on.

Verse 4

I sent a letter to my love,
Some comfort for to find,
Instead of helping as a friend,
She proved to me unkind.

Verse 5

She in scornful manner said -
"I'll shun thieves' company.
So as you made your bed young man,
Down on it you must lie."

Verse 6

The trial being over and sentence passed,
It's hanged I must be,
And it grieves my parents to the heart,
To think of my misery.

Verse 7

But Fortune it proved very kind,
As you can plainly see,
For I broke the gaol and fled away,
So I gained my liberty.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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