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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleMaid and the sailor
Roud No.264
Collected FromPhillips, Amelia Gingell Mrs.
LocationPurton
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 3 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 307
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 4th December, 1915, p 2, Part 10, No. 10
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As a pretty maid in the garden was walking,
A brisk young sailor she chanced to see;
He stepped up to her to ask her favour,
Saying, 'Pretty maid, can you fancy me?'

Verse 2

'I think you are some man of honour,
Some man of honour, you seem to be;
How can you impose on a poor young woman,
That is not fit your servant to be?'

Verse 3

'If you are not fit to be my servant,
A real regard I have for thee;
I mean to marry and make you my lady,
And I'll have servants to wait on thee.'

Verse 4

'I have a sweet heart of my own, sir,
And seven years he's been at sea;
And seven more, I will wait for him,
If he's alive he'll return to me.'

Verse 5

'If it is seven years since your true love has left you,
I'm sure he's either dead or drowned.'
'If he's alive I will love him dearly,
And if he's dead, in heaven he's crowned.'

Verse 6

Then when he found her love was loyal -
'It's a pity that true love be crossed.
I am that poor and single sailor,
Many a time on the wide ocean tossed.'

Verse 7

'Then if you are my poor and single sailor,
Show me the token I gave to thee;
For seven years makes an alteration,
Since my true love has been gone from me.'

Verse 8

He took his hand out of his bosom,
His fingers being both long and small;
He showed her the ring that was broke betwixt them,
Soon as she saw it she down did fall.

Verse 9

He took her up all in his arms,
And gave her kisses by two and three;
Saying, 'I am thy poor and single sailor,
I've just returned to marry thee.'

Verse 10

So now this couple they are married,
In wedlock's bounds they are bound with joy;
Now these two lovers live contented,
So here's an end to my sailor boy.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old and fairly well known song. The wives of villagers especially were fond of it. Obtained of Mrs Rowles, Witney, Oxfordshire, and Mrs Phillips, Purton.'

Note 2

In Verse 5, Line 4 the WGS text reads:

And if he's dead, in heaven he's in glory crowned.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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