Thomas And Nancy (Greenleaf & Mansfield)
score, MIDI



When the bo's'n's loud whistle keeps sounding,
Causing Nancy and Thomas to part,
As she stood on the beach broken-hearted,
The tears from her blue eyes did start.

"O Thomas, O Thomas," cried Nancy,
"When you're roving far over the foam,
Think of Nancy your l'yal true lover,
Think of Nancy and your parents and home."

Our good ship sailed over the ocean,
Like a seagull went over the foam;
And Thomas lay on his down pillow,
Dreamed of Nancy and his parents at home.

Our good ship sailed over the ocean,
Like a seagull on the billows was tossed;
And the rocks broke our good ship in sunder,
And our good ship and the cargo was lost.

As Nancy was roaming the bide-way,
In the place where she oft roved before,
She saw the cold corpse of her Tom,
A-floating along by the shore.

She kissed his pale lips to her sorrow,
And she kissed them again to her grief;
And before the sun rose on the morrow,
To you, Nancy, death brought relief.

Come all you young maids that go courting,
That never object any grief;
Be like Nancy, that l'yal true lover,
That died with her Thomas so brave.

####.... Variant of a British broadside ballad, Thomas & Nancy [Laws K15] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, Thomas & Nancy, published by J Catnach (London) sometime between 1813 and 1838, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3473) .... ####
Sung in 1920 by Bryant Galliott of Sally's Cove, NL, and published as #54 on pp.114-115 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).

A variant was sung in 1950 by Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Another variant was collected in 1961 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Mary Ann Galpin of Codroy, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.729-730, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Yet another variant was collected in 1977 from Annie J Green [1919-?] of Francois, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #107 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.183-184, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this was the first song she heard Annie Green sing, and she sang it beautifully while providing a rhythmical accompaniment with the motion of her rocking chair. This gave the impression of the sound of a ship upon the sea; her timbers creaking as she rolled gently in the waves.

See more Lehr and Best songs.


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