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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleAdieu my lovely Nancy
Roud No.165
Collected FromUnknown
LocationStratton St Margaret
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 516
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 30th October, 1915, p 2, Part 5, No. 9
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Adieu my lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu.
I'm a going to cross the ocean, for to seek for something new.
Come change a ring with me, dear girl, come, change a ring with me,
And that shall be a token when I am on the sea.

Verse 2

When I am on the sea dear girl, and you know not where I am,
Letters I will send to you, from every foreign land.
With the secrets of my heart, dear girl, and the best of my goodwill,
And let my body be where it may, my heart is with you still.

Verse 3

And whilst we jolly sailors are fighting for the crown,
There's a heavy storm a-rising, see how it's gathering round.
The clouds are black as ink and the thundering cannons roar,
And we fear we'll never see old England any more.

Verse 4

Our officers command us, and it's them we must obey,
Expecting every moment for to be cast away.
But we stood to our guns and fought most manfully,
And the enemy's ships went sinking to the bottom of the sea.

Verse 5

Now yonder storm is over and we are safe ashore,
We'll drink healths to our sweethearts and the girls we do adore.
We'll call for liquor merrily and spend our money free,
And when that is all spent and gone, we boldly put to sea.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: Obtained at Stratton St Margaret, Wiltshire.

Note 2

In Verse 4 Line 1 the original text read:

Our officers command us and them we must obey,

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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