MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Faithful Sailor Boy
Ernest Poole NFLD 1 Tape 18 Track 1
Cape Ray Audio:
Ballad / lovers separated Laws K13

It's on a cold and frosty night the snow lay on the ground
A sailor boy stood on the quay the ship was outward bound
His true love standing by his side shed manys a bitter tear
And as he clasped her to his breast he whispered in her ear

Chorus: So it's good-bye my own true love for this parting gives me pain
I'll be your hope your guiding star when I returns again
My thoughts will be on you fair maid when storms are raging high
So farewell love remember me I'm your faithful sailor boy

Twas in that gale the ship set sail the lass were standing by
She watched the vessel out of sight the tears stood in her eyes
She prayed to him in heaven above to guide him on his way
The last three parting words that night re-echoed all next day

Chorus: Then it's good-bye my own true love for this parting gives me pain
I'll be your hope your guiding star when I returns again
My thoughts will be on you fair maid when storms are raging high
So farewell love remember me I'm your faithful sailor boy

I'm sad to say that ship returned without her sailor boy
For he had died while on the sea the flag being half-mast high
And when his shipmates came onshore and told that he was dead
The letter that they gave to her those last lines that they said.

Chorus: Then it's good-bye my own true love for on earth we'll meet no more
I hope we'll meet some other day on that eternal shore
My thoughts will be on you fair maid when storms are raging high
So farewell my own true love, the faithful sailor boy.


Notes

Sources: Mercer 117; Laws K13; Henry 543 ("Irish Sailor Boy") & 678; Roud 376.

History: Likely mid-9 th century (but Randolph, 354, says a ballad known as "A Sailor Boy" is from an 18th -century broadside. ) Irish, English, and American variants. "G.W. Persley has been listed as the author of this piece, but the song appears older" (http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch.html).

Text notes:A sad parting of lovers followed by the death of the faithful sailor boy on board ship.

Tune notes: A slow 6/8 performance. Both stanzas and refrain have an aba'c form in which sevenths feature prominently.

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