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Cawsand Bay

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Cawsand Bay

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Cawsand Bay

In Cawsand Bay lyin', the Blue Peter Flyin'
The hands all turn'd up, oh, the anchor to weigh;
There came off a lady, as fresh as a May-Day
Who, looking up modestly, these words did say:

"Oh aloft there, an' ahand there, I want a young man there
So hoist me aboard or send him to me
For his name's Harry Grady, an' I am a lady
Just come off to save him from goin' to sea.

The captain, his honor, when he looked upon her
Swung down the ship's side to help her aboard,
Saying then, with emotion, "What son-o'-the-ocean
Can thus be a-wanted by Elinor Ford?"

To this she made answer, "That there is me man, sir
I'll make him as rich an' as grand as a lord,"
"Look 'ere," says the captain, "it can't very well 'appen
We've got sailing orders. My man, git aboard!"

"Avast!" says the lady, "Don't mind him Hal Grady
He once was your cap'n but now you're at large,
You shan't sail aboard 'er, in spite that chap's order
an out of her bosom she lugged his discharge."

Then the captain, says he, now, "I'm damned but he's free, now
Hal sings out, "Let Weatherface have all me clothes!"
For the shore then he steered her, the lads they all cheered her
But the captain was jealous and looked down his nose.

Then sh got a shore tailor to rig her young sailor
In tight nankeen britches and a long blue-tailed coat,
He looked like a squire for all to admire
With a dimity handkerchief tied round his throat.

An' now she says, "Harry, the next thing we'll marry."
An' she looked like a dove in his fair manly face;
"That's good, " said Hal Grady, "A parson stand ready
And after a long splice, we'll splice the main brace."

An' they have a house, greater than e'er a first-rater
Wid lackeys in uniform servin' the drinks;
Wid a garden to go in, mid flowers a-flowin'
The lily, the tulip, the lilac and pink.

Then he got eddication, quite fit for his station
Cos ye know we ain't never to old for to larn,
An' his shipmates soon found 'im, mid the young 'uns around him
All chips off the old block from stem to the starn.

From Songs of the Sea, Hugill
note: Hugill dates this as early 18th century, based on Hal's wardrobe and
the use of the obsolete term "first-rater" Cawsand Bay was a popular
rendezvous for the British Navy. Tune is a sea-going Molly Malone. RG
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