Rocks Of Scilly (Creighton and Senior)
See also: Seafaring Song (MacEdward Leach)

Come all you jolly sailor boys
That plough the raging main,
Come listen to my tragedy
While I relate the same;
O, I left my newly wedded bride,
So well I did adore,
To the seas we were commanded,
Where the lofty billows roar.

O, bound to the East Indies,
Our course we then did steer,
And all the while I do think on
My lovely Molly dear;
Sometimes on decks, sometimes aloft,
And when I'm down below,
But Molly she runs in my mind,
For love commands me so.

O, when our cargo we received,
Then we were outward bound,
It's little I thought it was my fate,
On the Rocks of Scilly drowned;
On the Rocks of Scilly we were cast,
Where the foaming billows roar,
Out of twenty noble sailor boys,
But four did reach the shore.

O, we had not been sailing,
Many days, only seven,
When a dismal storm did arise,
The raging seas run mountains high
And dismal was the sky;
"O, aloft, aloft," our captain cried,
"Ye hardy sailors brave,
Come reef your topsails, fore and aft,
Our ship and lives to save."

Then up speaks our bold captain,
"The first man does see land,
Five hundred pounds he will receive
Right into his hand."
Our boatswain's mate went up aloft,
All in the foretop high,
He spied around on every side,
But no land could he spy.

Then out speaks our bold captain,
"We're drawing near the land,
Our ship and cargo we must save,
As you may understand."
And all at once ahead of us,
A light it did appear,
"Cheer up my hearty hearts of oak,
Some harbour must be near."

With our good ship before the wind,
Thinking all dangers past,
It was us poor souls that fatal night
On the Rocks of Scilly cast.
The very first blow our good ship struck,
Our captain he did cry,
Saying, "The Lord have mercy on our souls,
For in the deep we'll die."

On the Rocks of Scilly we were cast,
Our gallant ship and crew,
On the Rocks of Scilly we were cast,
Most dismal for to view;
When Molly heard the dreadful news,
Her tender heart did break,
Like a faithful and fond lover died,
For her true lover's sake.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Rocks Of Scilly, [Laws K8] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Rocks Of Scilly, published by J Pitts (London) sometime between 1819 and 1844, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth C.12(118) ....####

Collected from James Young of East Petpeswick, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and Doreen H Senior and published in Traditional Songs From Nova Scotia, pp.200-201 (Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1950).

A variant was collected in 1951 from Mrs Catherine Mary (Kate) McCarthy [1890-1963] of Renews, NL, and published as Seafaring Song in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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