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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleJolly tar
Roud No.662
Collected FromUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 614
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Once I courted a pretty girl,
I loved her passing well,
Before I'd ever seen her face,
I wished - I cannot tell.
I courted her three years I'm sure,
What could a poor young man do more?
My parents they persuaded me,
To sail in a man of war.

Verse 2

As I was going down Plymouth street,
The weather being cold,
A jolly tar I chanced to meet,
He looked both brave and bold.
I said, 'Jolly tar, come, tell to me,
What living thou cans't get at sea,
That I may go along with thee,
To sail in a man of war.'

Verse 3

'We've bread and cheese and ale that's good,
We've peas and pork and other food,
I'll dab thy hands in pitch and tar,
If thou'lt go with me to sail in a man of war.'

Verse 4

As I lay musing in my bed,
Not thinking on the morrow,
A little before the break of day,
It proved to me great sorrow.
Our captain came with whip in hand,
He whipped me till I could not stand,
Now there's neither lord, nor squire brave,
Shall, ever, ever me persuade,
To go and leave my native home,
To sail in a man of war.
Print Song Lyrics
The unusual varying length of the verses is as given in the manuscript.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.



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