Oh, a raftsman's life is a wearisome one,
It causes many fair maids to weep and mourn.
It causes them to weep and mourn
For the loss of a true love that never can return,
"O father, O father, build me a boat,
That down the Wisconsin I may float,
And every raft that I pass by
There I will inquire for my sweet Pinery Boy."
As she was rowing down the stream
She saw three rafts all in a string.
She hailed the pilot as they drew nigh,
And there she did inquire for her sweet Pinery Boy.
"O pilot, O pilot, tell me true,
Is my sweet Willie among your crew?
Oh, tell me quick and give me joy,
For none other will I have but my sweet Pinery Boy."
"Oh, auburn was the color of his hair,
His eyes were blue and his cheeks were fair.
His lips were of a ruby fine;
Ten thousand times they've met with mine."
"O honored lady, he is not here.
He's drownded in the dells I fear.
'Twas at Lone Rock as we passed by,
Oh, there is where we left your sweet Pinery Boy."
She wrung her hands and tore her hair,
Just like a lady in great despair,
She rowed her boat against Lone Rock
You'd a-thought this fair lady's heart was broke.
"Dig me a grave both long and deep,
Place a marble slab at my head and feet;
And on my breast a turtle dove
To let the world know that I died for love.
And at my feet a spreading oak
To let the world know that my heart was broke."
note: Popular in Britain, Australia, Canada and U.S., as A
Soldier's life, A Sailor's Life etc. RG