Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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ii2         Ballads and Songs of Michigan
For an English text with many minor variations see Ashton, pp. 388-389. See also JFSS, 1,222-223. The present version is from the Gernsey manuscript
1    Tis of a rich merchant in London we hear,
He had a comely young daughter both beautiful and fair. Twenty thousand bright guineas was her portion in gold When she fell in love with a young sailor bold.
2   And when of those tidings her father did hear, Upon the young sailor his vengeance did swear.
Says he, "Your own true love shall no more plow the sea, But before tomorrow morning his butcher I shall be."
3   And then when she heard her old father say so, Her heart was o'erwhelmed with sorrow and woe. Says she to herself, "Could I but see my dear,
How soon would I warn him of the danger that is near."
4   In a suit of bold sailor's apparel' complete
She dressed herself up from her head to her feet.
With pumps on her feet and a cane in her hand
She met her dear William as she walked up the strand.
5   "Dear William, dear William, dear William," said she, "My father doth swear your butcher he will be. Now straightway to London I would have you prepare, And in forty-eight hours I will meet you there."
6   He kissed her fair cheek; tears stood in each eye. Says she, "I will save you or else I will die." Then straightway she gave him a handful of gold; Then walked up the streets like a young sailor bold.
7   She met her old father as she walked up the strand;
He mistook her to be William, saying, "You are the man." And sword from his side he instantly drew And pierced her beautiful body right through.

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