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Black-Eyed Susan

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Black-Eyed Susan

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Black-Eyed Susan

All in the dawn the fleet lay moored
The streamers waving to the wind
When Black-eyed Susan came on board
Oh where shall I my true love find?
Tell me if you're the sailor, tell me true
Does my sweet William, does my sweet William
Sail among your crew?

Oh William who high upon the yard
Rocked by the billows to and fro,
So soon her well-known voice he hears,
He sighed and cast his eyes below.
The cord glides swiftly through his glowing hands
And as quick as lightning, as quick as lightning
On the deck he stands.

"Oh Susan, Susan, lovely dear
My vows shall ever true remain,
Let me kiss off that falling tear,
We only part to meet again
Change as ye list she wins my heart shall be
A faithful compass, a faithful compass
That still points to thee.

"Oh Susan, Susan, lovely dear
My vows shall ever true remain,
Let me kiss off that falling tear,
We only part to meet again.
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William, might envy William's lips
Those kisses sweet.

"Oh, believe not what the landsmen say
Who tempt with doubts your constant mind,
They'll tell thee sailors when away
In every port a mistress find.
Yes, do believe them when they tell you so,
For thou art present, for thou art present
Wheresoe'er I go.

"If to fair India's coast we sail
Thine eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin as ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul, wakes in my soul
Some charms of lovely Sue."

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
Her sails their swelling bosoms spread.
No longer can she stay on board,
They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head,
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land,
"Adieu," she cries. "Adieu," she cries
And waves her lily hand.

DT #672
Laws O28
From Creighton, Maritime Folk Songs
collected from Mr. Beton Young, West Pepeswick, NS 1951
SOF
oct96
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III