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Jack Williams

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Jack Williams

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Jack Williams

I am a boatman by my trade,
Jack Williams is my name;
And by a false deluding girl
I was brought to grief and shame.

In London town where I did dwell
The people did me know;
I fell in love with a handsome girl
That proved my overthrow.

I went a-robbing night and day
To maintain her fair and gay;
And what I got I valued not,
I brought to her straightway.

At length to Newgate I was sent,
Bound down in irons strong,
With a rattling chain around my leg,
And she longed to see it on.

I wrote a letter to my love
Some comfort for to find;
Instead of proving friend to me
She proved to be unkind.

"You robbed and stole to keep me gay;
The truth I don't deny.
You made your bed, young man," said she,
"Down on it you must lie."

'Twas then I stood my trial
And boldly made my plea;
And then I was transported
Far away to Botany Bay.

If ever I do return again,
A solemn vow I'll make
To shun all evil company
For that false woman's sake.

From Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia, Mackenzie
collected from Richard Hines
DT #572
Laws L17
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III