It was early, early all in the Spring,
That my boy Willie went to serve the King,
The night was dark and the wind blew high;
It was then I lost my dear sailor boy.
2. The night is long and I can find no rest,
The thought of Willie runs in my breast,
I'll search the green woods and village wide,
Still hoping my true love to find.
3. "Oh, father, father, give me a boat,
Out on the ocean that I may float,
To watch the big boats as they pass by,
That I might enquire for my sailor boy."
4. She was not long out upon the deep,
When a man-o-war vessel she chanced to meet,
Saying, "Captain, captain, now tell me true,
If my boy Willie is on board with you."
5. "What sort of boy is your Willie dear,
Or what sort of a suit does your Willie wear?"
"He wears a suit of the royal blue,
And you'll easy know him for his heart is true."
6. "Oh, then your boy Willie, I am sorry to say,
Has just been drowned the other day,
On yon green island that we pass by,
'Twas there we laid your poor sailor boy."
7. She wrung her hands and she tore her hair,
And she sobbed and sighed in her despair,
And with every sob she let fall a tear,
And every sigh was for her Willie dear.
8. "O, father, make my grave both wide and deep,
With a fine tombstone at my head and feet;
And in the middle a turtle dove
That the world may know that I died of love."
9. Come all you sailors who sail along
And all you boatmen who follow on.
From the cabin-boy to the mainmast high
Ye must mourn in black for my sailor boy.