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Green Bed

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Green Bed

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Green Bed

A story, a story, a story was one,
Concerning of a sailor whose name it was John.
He had been a long voyage and had lately come on shore,
For his money was good, but his rigging was tore.

Johnny went to an ale-house where he'd been before,
And he called for a glass of the very best beer.
"You're welcome in, young Johnny, you're welcome in," said she,
"For last night my daughter Molly was dreaming of thee."

"What news, my young Johnnie, what news from the sea?"
"Bad news," says young Johnnie, "for all's gone from me.
Our ship sprung a leak, ma'am, the voyage being crossed,
And on the wide ocean, crew and cargo was lost."

"Call down your daughter Molly and sit her on my knee.
We'll drown all our sorrows and merry we'll be."
"My daughter Molly's busy, John, and cannot come to you,
And neither would I trust you for one pot nor two."

Johnny being tired, he hung down his head.
He called for a candle to light him to bed.
"Our beds are all engaged, John, and will be for a week,
So now for fresh lodgings you must go and seek."

"Oh, what is your reckoning?" the sailor he said.
"Oh what is your reckoning? for you shall be paid."
"There's forty four shillings, John, you owe me of old."
Then out of his pocket he drew handfuls of gold.

At the sight of this money, the landlady did rue.
"I'll have you remember all I've done for you,
For what I've just said, John, was all said in jest.
Of all of my boarders I like you the best."

At the jingle of his money, young Molly flew downstairs.
She huddled him and cuddled him and called him her dear.
"The green bed is empty, and has been all week,
Where you and young Molly can take your sweet sleep."

"Before I would lie in your green bed, I know,
I would rather lie out in the rain and the snow,
For if I'd no money, out of doors I'd be turned,
And it's you and your green bed deserve to be burned,"

Come all you young sailors that sails on the main,
That do get your living in cold storms of rain;
Now, when you have got it, pray lay it up in store,
For the fear that your companions should turn you out of doors.

DT #323
Laws K36
from The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs
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