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Weel May the Keel Row

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Weel May the Keel Row

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Weel May the Keel Row

As I came thro' Sandgate,
Thro' Sandgate, thro' Sandgate,
As I came thro' Sandgate,
I heard a lassie sing:
     "O, weel may the keel row,
     The keel row, the keel row,
     O weel may the keel row
     That my laddie's in."

"O wha's like my Johnnie,
Sae leish, sae blithe, sae bonnie?
He's foremost 'mang the mony
Keel lads o' coaly Tyne;
     He'll set or row sae tightly
     Or, in the dance sae sprightly,
     He'll cut and shuffle slightly,
     'Tis true, were he nae mine.

He wears a blue bonnet,
Blue bonnet, blue bonnet,
He wears a blue bonnet
A dimple in his chin.
     And weel may the keel row,
     The keel row, the keel row,
     And weel may the keel row
     That my laddie's in."

Note: a keel is a boat; leish is lithe. The song was first
published around 1770, and has been called the national anthem of
the Tyne River.
Recorded, many years ago, by Jo Stafford, also Ian Campbell Folk Group.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III