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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleIndian lass
Roud No.2326
Collected FromWarren, Edwin
LocationSouth Marston
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 502
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 18th March, 1916, p 3, Part 23, No. 7
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As I was a-walking down by the seashore,
I called at an alehouse to spend half an hour,
And I sat drinking and taking my glass,
By chance there came in a young Indian lass.

Verse 2

This lovely young Indian, as you shall soon hear,
With her features of beauty none with her could compare;
She was tall and she was handsome, her age was sixteen,
She was born and brought up in a place near Orleans.

Verse 3

She came and sat by me, and squeezed my hand,
She says - "You're a stranger, not one of this land."
She says - "I'll find lodgings, if with me you'll stay,
You shall have my portion without more delay."

Verse 4

With a jug of good liquor she welcomed me in,
Now she says, "You are welcome to have anything, [hyphen]
And, besides, if you'll stay with me, never more to roam,
I know you're a stranger, and far from your home."

Verse 5

Now the time being appointed for William to leave,
To leave this sweet damsel, the ocean to breathe;
She pulled out her handkerchief and wiped her bright eye -
"Oh, don't go and leave me, dear William," she cried.

Verse 6

It was early the next morning we were going to set sail,
To cross the rolling ocean, boys, and leave her a while;
She says - "When you are over in your own native land,
Remember the young Indian that squeezed your hand."

Verse 7

We hoisted our anchor and away then we flew,
And a sweet pleasant breeze soon parted me from her view;
But now I am over, and taking my glass,
Here is a good health to the young Indian lass.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old ballad, one of those which originally emanated from seaport towns. I see Mr Frank Kidson has a copy in his 'Traditional Tunes' which was obtained in Yorkshire. I first heard of the song at South Marston and, later, at Broadwell, Oxfordshire. Words of Edwin Warren, South Marston and Thomas Webb, Broadwell, Oxfordshire.'

Note 2

In Verse 5 Line 1 the original text read:

But the time being appointed for William to leave

In Verse 7 Line 2 the original text read:

And a sweet pleasant breeze soon took me from her view

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2014.

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