Blue Jacket And White Trousers
(Kenneth Peacock)

See also: Short Jacket (Greenleaf/Mansfield)

Blue jacket and white trousers this fair maid she put on,
And like a jolly sailor she boldly jogged along;
She bargained with a captain her passage to go free,
For to be his companion across the raging sea.

When she pulled off her clothes all for to go to bed,
Our captain said, "I certainly wish that you was a maid;
Your rosy cheeks and ruby lips they do entice me,
And I do wish with all my heart that you was a maid for me."

"Oh, leave off talking, captain, your talk it's all in vain,
For if the sailors they do know, on us they will make game;
And when we reach the southern shore some pretty girls we'll find,
They'll roll us in their arms, to us they will prove kind."

It was two or three days after they reached the southern shore,
"Adieu, adieu, fair captain, adieu forevermore;
Adieu, adieu, fair captain, adieu forevermore;
I was the bravest sailor there was on board,
And now I'm a maid on shore.

"Oh, leave off talking, lady, and come along with me,
I have gold and silver plentiful and you're in slavery;
I have five thousand pounds in gold and you are slavery born,
And if you'll come along with me I'll say that you'll be mine."

"Oh, leave off talking, captain, your talk it's all in vain,
It's for the sake of Jimmy dear I've crossed the raging main;
It's for the sake of Jimmy dear I've crossed the seas with you,
And if I do not find him a maid I'll live and die."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Maid In Sorrow [Laws N12] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.327-328, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected in 1929 by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield from Mrs Thomas (Annie) White Jr [1888-?] of Sandy Cove, St Barbe District, NL, and published as #46, Short Jacket in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).

Kenneth Peacock noted that the custom of ships' officers having intimate male companions from among the crew is hinted at in many songs, especially those involving females in disguise. The rosy-cheeked and ruby-lipped cabin boy the captain engages invariably turns out to be of another gender. For a really comic-opera treatment of the theme see The Handsome Cabin Boy.


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