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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleGolden Vanitee
Roud No.122
Collected FromSawyer, David [Phoebus]
LocationOgbourne St. Andrew
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleGolden Vanity
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 444
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 13th November, 1915, p 2, Part 7, no. 8: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 199, 200
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

There was a ship came from the north countree,
And the name of the ship was the Golden Vanitee,
And they feared that she might be taken by the Turkish enemy,
That sails on the Lowland, Lowland,
That sails upon the Lowland sea.

Verse 2

Then up there came a little cabin boy,
And he said to the skipper, 'What will you give me,
If I swim alongside of the Turkish enemy,
And sink her in the Lowland, Lowland,
And sink her in the Lowland sea?

Verse 3

'Oh I will give you silver, O I will give you gold,
And my only daughter your bride to be,
If you'll swim alongside of the Turkish enemy,
And sink her in the Lowland, Lowland,
And sink her in the Lowland sea.'

Verse 4

Then the boy made him ready and overboard sprang he,
And he swam alongside of the Turkish enemy,
And with his auger sharp in her side he bored holes three,
And he sank her in the Lowland, Lowlands,
And he sank her in the Lowland, sea.

Verse 5

Then the boy turned round and back again swam he,
And he cried to the skipper of the Golden Vanitee,
But the skipper did not heed, for his promise he would need,
And he left him in the Lowland, Lowlands,
And he left him in the Lowlands sea.

Verse 6

Then the boy swam around and came to the port side,
And he looked up at his messmates and bitterly he cried,
'O messmates, take me up, for I'm drifting with the tide,
And I'm sinking in the Lowland, Lowlands,
And I'm sinking in the Lowlands sea.'

Verse 7

Then his messmates took him up, but on the deck he died,
And they sewed him in his hammock that was so large and wide,
And they lowered him overboard, but he drifted with the tide,
And he sank beneath the Lowlands, Lowlands,
And he sank beneath the Lowlands sea.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old English ballad of uncertain date. Formerly popular on the borders of the Wiltshire Downs. Obtained of David Sawyer, the shearer, of Ogbourne.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'An old English ballad of uncertain date. Formerly popular on the borders of the Wiltshire Downs. I recently discovered another version on the Cotswolds. Obtained of David Sawyer, Ogbourne.'

Note 2

The manuscript note does not refer to a second version, that is in the book.

In Verse 3 Line 1 the original text read:

O I will give you silver, and I will give you gold

In Verse 5 Line 1 the original text read:

Then the boy turned round and back again turned he

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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