MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Lady and Sailor
Gerald Aylward NFLD 1 Tape 5 Track 1
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad: woman follows lover to sea

...A rich merchant in London did dwell
He had one fine daughter no one could excel
Rich Lords came to court her but she slighted them all
She fancied a sailor who was handsome and tall

As soon as this young man put his foot on the land
He was discovered by one of the band
And then to her father the news was soon told
That she was to wed to a young sailor bold

He called on his daughter with an angry face
Saying, "If you can't get no better man get out of this place
If you can't get no better man your fond arms to embrace
Then to wed to a sailor your friends to disgrace!"

"Oh father, dear father," this fair one did say
"There's no one on earth like a sailor to me
If the sailor is willing he's the lad I adore
And I will go with him where the angry seas roar."

"Now since cruel daughter now this be your lot
You can go and get married but speak of me not
You can go and get married and speak not of me
And when all things are over we will surely agree!"

This fair one she dressed in a suit of men's clothes
On board of the ship to the captain she goes
She agreed with the captain and it fell to her lot
For to lie by her true love and speak to him not

As the lady and the sailor were plowing the shore
A press gang surround them about a half score
They seized her own true love and bore him away
Instead of being pleasure proved an unhappy day

As the lady and the sailor were plowing the deep
Says the lady to the sailor, "Why sigh in your sleep?"
"I once had a true love it was she won my heart
It was by her cruel father that we did depart."

"I am an astronomer reared up to attend
And astronomer's books I rehearse now and then
Come and tell me your name and I will cast out your lot
For to see if you'll gain this fair lady or not."

He told her his name and the hour of his birth
She said, "You were born of great giant birth
You'll gain this fair lady in spite of them all
For I am your Helen right here at your call."

This couple got married among the ship's crew
Because this fair lady was loyal and true
And now they are sailing for Columbus ' long shore
Drink a health to their father they'll see him no more


Sources:   Leach 106;


Text notes: A wealthy lady defies her father to join her lover aboard the ship that he is sailing on.

Tune notes: A pentatonic tune in triple metre, with an abba form.

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