Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

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176          Ballads and Songs of Michigan
For references see Cox, p. 334. See also Greenleaf and Mansfield, pp. 57-58; Hudson, pp. 27-28; Sharp, I, 381-384; and Stout, p. 21. Cf. Scarborough, pp 203-210.
The present version is from the Gernsey manuscnpt. At the end of this song in the manuscript is the notation "Dec. 1841."
1    'Tis of a silk merchant in London I write;
He had a fair daughter, his heart's chief delight. She loved a young porter, and to prevent the day Of marriage, they forced this young man away.
2   As he was a-walking in Dublin's fair street, This beautiful damsel he chanced for to meet. "O where are you going, dear sailor?" said she. "I'm going to old England, old England," said he.
3    "It's over to old England I long for to go And how to get over it's more than I know.
I am a jovial sailor and don't you want a hand, And for my passage over I'll do all I can?"
4   The ship she being loaded and ready for to sail, The wind from the east blew a sweet pleasant gale. Along they did sad with each heart's full content, Until the ship she sprung a leak; to the bottom she
5   Four and twenty of them jumped into a long boat; Poor souls on the ocean was forced for to float. Hunger was approaching and death was drawing nigh; They then cast their lots for to see who must die.
6   Their lots were all taken and in a bag shook, And each of the sailors his lot freely took.
Now mark, this fair damsel a-trembling doth stand; She is to be slain for to feed all the men.
7 Their lots again was taken and in a bag shook, And each of the sailors his lot freely took.

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