American Old Time Song Lyrics: 25 Oriley, The Fisherman

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 25

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As I roved out one evening fair, down by the river side,
I heard a lovely maid complain, the tears fell from her eyes:
"This is a cold and stormy night, " those words she then did say,
"My love is on the raging sea, bound for America"

My love he was a fisherman, his age was scarce eighteen,
he was as nice a young man as ever yet was seen;
My father he had riches great, and Riley he was poor,
Because I loved this fisherman, they could not him endure.

John O'Riley was my true love's name, reared near the town of Bray,
My mother took me by the hand, and these words to me did say:
"If you be fond of Riley, let him quit this country,
Your father says he'll take his life, so shun his company."

"Oh, mother, dear, don't be severe, where will you send my lover
My very heart lies in his breast, as constant as a dove."
"Oh, daughter, dear, I'm not severe, here is one thousand pound,
Se send Riley to America, to purchase there some ground."

When Ellen got the money, to Riley she did ran.
Saying, "This very night, to take your life, my father charged a gun;
Here is one thousand pound in gold, my mother sent to you,
So sail away to America, and I will follow you."

When Riley got the money, next day he sailed away,
And when he pat his foot on board, those words she then did say:
"Here is a token of true love, and we'll break it now in two,
You'll have my heart and half my ring until I find out you."

It was three months after, as he was waiting by the shore,
When Riley he came back again to take his love away,
The ship was wrecked, all hands were lost, her father grieved full sore,
And found Riley in her arms, and they drowned upon the shore.

He found a letter on her breast, and it was wrote with blood,
Saying, "Cruel was my father, that thought to shoot my love."
So let this now be a warning to all fair maids so gay,
To never let the lads they love go to America.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III