The Man-Of-War Piece (Greenleaf & Mansfield)
(The Young Maid's Song)

Come all ye lads and lassies
that wear a bunch of green,
I hope you'll pay attention
and listen unto me;
I am a poor unhappy girl
disturbed all in my mind,
And for my brisk young sailor lad
no comfort can I find.

O, the lad that I love dearly,
he's proper tall and slim,
He is well-formed in features,
well-shaped in every limb;
He is both tall and thin withal,
he's no deluding tongue,
He's a lover of good behavior,
to me, a girl so young.

I have kept my true love's company
for better than three year,
He promised that he'd marry me,
I own I loved him dear;
But now he's gone and leavéd me,
I can not tell how far,
He has gone to serve his misery
on board a man-o'-war.

I pray each night that he'll be safe
while he is on the main,
And that he'll shun all danger
until he returns again,
He is a tall and handsome youth,
his loss I do deplore,
And I'll weep daily for my love
till he returns once more.

He givéd me his black ribbon
to mourn for him so fair,
But like a loyal lover
the bunch of blue I wear;
If in the wars he will be slain,
his face I never shall see,
But in heaven I hope his soul
will shine through all eternity.

####.... Author unknown ....####
Sung in part in 1929 by Tom White of Sandy Cove, NL, and published as #45 The Man-Of-War Piece, on p.99 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 four-verse variant was collected as The Young Maid's Song by Donagh MacDonagh, Department of Irish Folklore, University College, Dublin, IE.


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