My Handsome Sailor Boy (Kenneth Peacock)

As I roved out one evening
Down Water Street I took my way,
In hopes to meet my own true love,
For I had not long to stay;
In crossing the wide ocean
For money and for gain,
It's now I'm told that he's returned
To his own dear Mary Jane.

Her mother said to her one day,
"Come drive him from your mind,
For there's just as good as MacDonald here
I'm sure that you can find;
MacDonald is false-hearted,
MacDonald proves unkind."
Saying, "Mother dear, don't talk severe,
For you'll never, never change my mind."

Her father said, "I'll confine you to a room,
My own dear Mary Jane,
And after seven long years are passed
You'll forget MacDonald's name."
"You may confine me for seven long years
And then you'll set me free,
Straightway to Halifax I will go
And sit on MacDonald's knee.

"Three bunches of green ribbons,
Three bunches I'll put on,
Three bunches of red ribbons
I'll wear for him that's gone;
For the green it is for seeking,
And the red it is for joy,
I always will admire
My handsome sailor boy.

"There is one man among them all,
He is proper, neat, and tall,
He has two red and rosy cheeks,
And his eyes deceive them all;
He has two red and rosy cheeks,
With a dark and a rolling eye,
And for my life I'll be his wife,
And with him I'll live and die."

####.... Author unknown. Traditional ballad ....####

Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Arthur Nicolle [1900-1971] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.566-567, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that despite the fact that Mary Jane roves down Water Street in St John's (or Halifax) and MacDonald lives in Halifax, this song did not seem to him to be of Canadian origin. It is probably a British song with Canadian referents.


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