The Banks of Claudy
It being on a fine summer's evening all on the month of May
Down by a flowery garden where Bessie she did stray
I overheard a fair maid in sorrow and in pain
Was all for her true lover who ploughed the raging main.
I went up to this fair maid, I took her by surprise
I own she did not know me, for I was in disguise
I said, "My pretty fair maid, my joy and heart's delight
How far have you to travel this dark and dreary night?"
"Kind sir, the way to Claudy banks if you would please to show
Pity a maid in distraction for I have so far to go
I am in search of a young man and Johnny is his name
It's on the banks of Claudy I'm told he does remain."
"This is the banks of Claudy, the very place you stand
But don't depend on Johnny for he's a false young man
Don't depend on Johnny for he'll not meet you here
But come with me to yon green woods, no longer need you fear."
"If Johnny dear was here tonight he'd keep me from all harm
He's in the field of battle all in his uniform
He's in the field of battle and his foes he does defy
Like the roaring king of Honor who fought through the wars of Troy."
"It's six long months or better since Johnny left the shore
He's crossing the wide ocean where foaming billows roar
He's crossing the wide ocean for honor and for fame
But I am told his ship was wrecked all off the coast of Spain."
When she heard this dreadful news she fell in deep despair
With the ringing of her hands and the tearing of her hair
"Since Johnny he has left me, no other man I'll take
But through lonesome groves and valleys I'll wander for his sake."
When he heard her loyalty he could no longer stand
He fell into her arms, saying "Bessie, I am the man
I am this heartless young man, the cause of all your pain
And since we met on Claudy banks, we'll never part again."