American Old Time Song Lyrics: 14 Little Meg And I

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 14

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By Con. T. Murphy.

You ask me, mates, to spin a yarn
Before I go below;
Well, as the night is calm and bright,
And no chance for a blow,
I'll tell you one.
The story's true as ever yet was told,
For, mates, I wouldn't lie about the dead-
No! Not for gold.
The story is of a lass and lad
Who loved in days gone by;
The maiden was Meg Anderson,
The lad, messmates, was I.

A neater, trimmer craft than Meg
Was very hard to find;
Why, she could climb the steepest hill,
Make five knots against the wind;
And as for larning, why hulks And spars!
I've often heard it said,
That she could give the scholars points,
And then come out ahead.
And the old schoolmaster used to say,
And, mates, it made me cry,
Not that the smartest there was little Meg,
But that the greatest dunce was I.

But what cared I for laming
When Meg was by my side;
For although a lad, I loved her, mates,
And for her would have died;
And she loved me, too, the little lass,
And often have I smiled
When she'd say she'd be my little wife.
'Twas the prattle of the child,
For there lay a gulf between us, mates,
With the waters running high;
On one side stood Meg Anderson,
On the other side stood I.

Meg's fortune was twelve ships at sea.
And houses on the land;
My fortune!-why, mates, you might have held
My fortune in your hand.
Meg's father owned a vast domain
For miles along the shore;
My father owned a fishing smack
A hut, and nothing more.
I knew I never could win Meg,
No matter how I'd try,
For on a couch of down lay she,
On a bed of straw lay I.

But I never thought of leaving Meg,
Or Meg of leaving me;
For we were young, and little dreamt
That I should go to sea,
Till, one bright day, my father said,
"There's a whale-ship in the bay;
I want you, Bill, to make a cruise-
You go on board to-day."
Well, in two weeks' time
I had bid them all good-bye,
As on the dock stood little Meg,
And on the deck stood I.

Before sailing we always met
When e'er I went on shore,
And Meg would say, "Bill, when you're far away
I'll love you more And more;
And I'll be true to you
Through all the coming years;"
And as she spoke I saw her eyes
Were filled with pearly tears;
And so I whispered words of hope,
And kissed her eyelids dry.
Her last words were, "God bless you. Bill!"
So parted Meg and I.

Well, we sailed for many years,
Till one bright Summer's day
Our good ship, the "Nimrod,"
Cast anchor in the bay.
My heart beat high within me, mates,
To see her home once more;
And hundreds stood upon the pier,
To welcome us on shore.
But my heart sank down within me, mates.
As I gazed with anxious eye:
No little Meg stood on the dock,
As on the deck stood I.

Oh! mates, it almost broke my heart
When I went on shore that day,
And learned that little Meg had wed
While I was far away.
They told me, too, they'd forced her to it,
And wrecked her fair young life.
Just think, messmates, a'child in years,
To be an old man's wife.
But her father said it must be so,
And what could she reply?
Only just fifteen was little Meg,
Just twenty-one was I.

Well, we sailed for three long years,
Perhaps it may be four.
One blustery night Jack Glenn And I
Were rowing towards the shore,
When right ahead of us we saw a sight
That made us hold our breath;
For there in the pale moonlight
Lay a woman cold in death!
I raised her up: Oh, God!
Messmates, that I had passed her by,
For there in the bay lay little Meg,
And over her stood I.

Next day we laid poor Meg away,
And nightly o'er the wave
My spirit wanders forth to keep
A watch beside her grave.
Her father knows not where she's laid,
Nor him who her betrayed.
There's only Bill, messmates, who knows
Where little Meg is laid.
In a quiet grove of willows,
Her father's house hard by;
There sleeps in peace my little Meg,
And here, messmates, am I.
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