American Old Time Song Lyrics: 28 James And Nancy
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 28
JAMES AND NANCY.
Lovers, I pray, lend an ear to my story,
Take an example from this constant pair.
How love a young creature did blast in her glory,
Beautiful Nancy, of Yarmouth, we hear.
She was a merchant's fair, lovely daughter,
Heiress to fifteen hundred a year;
A voting man did court her to be his sweet jewel.
The son of a gentleman living quite near.
Many long years this maid had he courted.
When they were infants in love they agreed,
And when of age the twain had arrived,
Cupid his arrow between thorn displayed.
Each to the other they promised to many.
But when to her parents the troth did declare,
They to their charming, their beautiful daughter
Acted a part that was truly severe.
Daughter, they said, give o'er such proceedings,
If 'ganst our wishes and will you do wed,
Forevermore we resolve to disown you.
Should you choose one that's so lowly bred.
Her mother said, you are one of great fortune.
Beside you are beautiful, charming And young,
You are a match, dearest child, that is fitting
For any lord in all Christendom.
Then did reply this beauteous young virgin.
Riches and honors I both do deny.
If I'm deprived of my own dearest lover.
Farewell to this world, 'tis all vanity.
James is of all men the best worth admiring,
He hath those riches that I most adore,
For to be greater I have no desiring.
My heart is fixed ne'er to love more.
Then, said her father, 'tis my resolution.
Although I have no daughter but thee.
That if with him you're resolved to marry.
Banished forever from us you shall be.
Oh. cruel father, still I implore you.
Giant me that James once more I may see,
Tho' you do part us I yet will be loyal.
None in the wide world I'll love but he.
At once for the young man he sent in a passion.
Saving, forever, now sir, take your leave,
I have a more fitting match for my daughter.
Therefore 'tis useless, 'tis folly to grieve.
Oh. honored father, exclaimed the young lady.
Joined we are by the ties of true love,
Why of all comfort would you bereave me,
Our love is registered in heaven above.
Then, said the father, a trip on the ocean
The young man shall take in a ship of my own,
I will consent that he have my dear daughter
When to fair Yarmouth he doth return.
Oh. thou kind father, thus spake the lovers,
As it is your will we can but obey,
Our constant hearts can never be parted.
And your decision but causes delay.
Then, dearest James, said the beautiful Nancy,
While crystal tears like a fountain did flow.
Thou knowest my heart in return I have given you.
Your love will sustain me wherever I go.
When on the ocean, my dear. I am sailing.
Thoughts of my jewel my compass shall be
How tedious the days time alone will discover.
Bringing me home again, safe, love, to thee.
Therefore he constant, my dear, lovely Nancy,
For. be assured. if you prove untrue.
My troubled spirit shall forever torment you,
In life or in death I'll have none but you.
Closely around him! her arms then she folded.
Exclaiming, my dear, while you're on the sea.
If so that fate should to us prove cruel.
And we each other no more should see.
Should death's sad tidings to me be wafted.
And my true love fore'er lost to me.
Then would my life be naught But a burden.
Earth have no happiness unshared by thee.
Then, with the hope of an early returning.
Wind and wave suited by fav'ring gale,
James and the good ship being in readiness,
For the Barbados straightway set sail.
While James was floating on the wide ocean.
Her cruel parents were plotting the while
How that the heart of their beautiful daughter
With glit'ring gold they could serve to beguile.
Many a lordly one of fame and station
Sought for the favor of this charming maid.
But their addresses found no recognition-
Constant I'll be to my lover, she said.
Now 'mid the plotting against this fair maiden.
What of her lover across the deep sea?
The good ship readied the Barbados in safety,
But, alas, for poor Jamie, what 'came of he!
Comely in person and noble each feature,
A Barbados lady sought him as a prize.
So at once she determined her charms should enchant him.
And all his virtues would land to the skies.
In fairest of fabrics and richly appareled.
Diamonds resplendent be studding her hair.
Surrounded by slaves all bedecked and attendant,
A message she sent him to visit her lair.
Come, noble sailor, she cried, you're entrancing.
With riches unbounded I fain would you greet.
Minions shall ever await and attend thee,
Softest of music shall lull thee to sleep.
In richest of garments, my dear, I will robe thee.
Pearls and fine jewels I'll lay at thy feet.
In chariot of gold thou mayst ride forth at pleasure.
If with thy best love thou wilt me greet.
Amazed and quite speechless awhile he stood gazing-
Forbear, noble lady, at length ho replied.
In fair, sunny England I've vowed to a lady.
On my return I will make her my bride.
She is a charming, most beautiful creature.
And has my heart, I can never love more,
Ever in my eyes are her sweet, lovely features.
She of all Others on earth I adore.
When this he told her, sin; raved, was distracted,
Crying, tin fortunate am I to love
One that so cruelly slights all my glory,
And of my offerings will not approve.
Lords of renown their favors I've slighted,
And now must die for a sailor so bold;
I cannot blame him because he is constant,
True love I find is much better than gold.
Having thus spoken, a jewel she gave him.
Then, with a trembling hand, seized she a knife.
One fatal blow, and before they could save her,
Quickly had ended her mortal life.
'Mid lamentation o'er this maid's destruction.
Gladdened in heart at escape from her snare,
James for old England and home soon departed,
Anxious once more to meet Nancy, the fair.
But when her father learned he was returning.
A letter he wrote to the boatswain, his friend,
Promising to most handsomely reward him
If he the life of young James would end.
Void of all honor and for sake of the lucre.
The cruel boatswain his tusk did complete;
As on the deck they together were walking,
He threw him overboard into the deep.
At dead of night, while all were sleeping,
lames' troubled spirit to his love did appear,
Calling upon the young, beautiful Nancy,
To accomplish the vow she had made "to her dear.
You are my own love, so tarry no longer,
Many long years for your sake I did stay.
Hymen now waits but to crown us with pleasure,
The bride guests are ready, come, let Be away.
She sought whence the voice came, and there at her window
Appeared her true lover, who to her did say:
Your parents are sleeping, And ere they awaken
Come with me, my own Nancy, you "must not delay.
Oh, James, dear, she cried, if they should but hear us.
We would be ruined, so quickly repair
Down to the seashore alone and await me,
I will arise and at once join you there.
As she thus answered, straightway her light robes
Loosely around her fair form she drew.
Then out in the darkness, alone, unattended,
Hastened to join the lover so true.
Close In its arms did the spirit enfold her-
Why art thou colder than clay, she cried.
Oh, can it be that you're my adored one.
And thus in death come to claim me your bride!
Yes, fairest creature, I am your true love.
Come for fulfillment of promise to me,
In life or death, on land or ware,
Promise that you my own bride would be.
While far away did another fair maiden
Seek by her beauty and riches to gain
My heart's best affections from you my dear Nancy,
But all her pleadings proved fruitless and vain.
Your cruel parents have wrought my destruction,
And now I sleep beneath the dark wave.
Come, to your promise, we'll lie here together.
Wedded by death, in one common grave!
Trembling, amazed, and sorely affrighted
At the sad summons sent from the sea,
'Gainst her proud parents inveighing most strongly,
For their deception and base cruelty.
But sternly resolute, true to the promise
Made to her lover long days before,
One sudden plunge- the sad waves closed o'er her.
And beautiful Nancy's troubles were o'er.