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The Boatman


The Boatman

How often haunting the highest hilltop
I scan the ocean, a sail to see
Will it come tonight, love, will it come tomorrow
Or ever come, love, to comfort me

        Fear-a-uata, no horoway-la
        Fear-a-uata, no horoway-la
        Fear-a-uata, no horoway-la
        O fare thee well, love, where'er thou be

They call thee fickle, they call thee false one
And seek to change me but all in vain
Thou art my dream yet throughout the dark night
And every moment I watch the main

There's not a hamlet, too well I know it,
Where you go wandering or stay awhile
But all its old folk you win with talking
And charm its maidens with song and smile

Doth thou remember the promise made me,
A token plead, a silken gown
That ring of gold with your hair and portrait
That gown and ring I will never own

sung by Sandy Denny in the London Folk Song Cellar in 1967. These are
probably the earliest existing tapes of Sandy's singing. The chorus is
Gaelic and I provide a phonetic transcription only. "Fear-a-uata"
(certainly spelled very differently) means "The Boatman".