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

Come all ye landsmen, stout and bold,
And jolly seamen, too,
Come listen to my tragedy,
The truth I'll tell to you;
I parted with that lovely girl,
The girl whom I adore,
Commanded to the stormy seas,
Where foaming billows roar.

It was to West India we were bound,
Our goodly ship to steer,
And all along as we sailed on,
I thought on Molly dear;
We had not sailed a league but seven,
When the storm began to rise,
Oh, dark and cloudy looked the sky,
And the seas rolled mountains high.

While l'm alone, I'll sigh and moan,
While others sport and play,
And if I had Molly by my side,
The time would pass away;
Sometimes on deck, more times aloft,
And more times down below,
When the thought of Molly runs in my mind,
Her love torments me so.

Aloud, aloud, our captain cries,
The first man to spy land,
It's well rewarded he will be
With fifty pounds in hand;
Our bosun ran with courage bold
Up to the maintop high,
He looked all 'round with a watery eye,
Neither light nor land could spy.

Her captain, being at the head of the ship,
A light he chanced to spy,
My heart's of gold, be stout and bold,
A harbour we are nigh;
Steer on your ship before the wind,
And from all rocks keep clear,
And it's on the ocean we'll remain,
Till the daylight does appear.

We steered our ship before the wind,
Thinking all dangers past,
But our poor souls that very night
On Scilly's rocks were lost;
Saying Molly, my dear, you may lament
For the loss of your sweetheart,
Since cruel friends and stormy winds
Cause you and I to part.

The very first crack our good ship gave,
Aloud our captain cries,
Saying, the Lord have mercy on our souls,
It's in the deep must lie.

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

A variant was also collected from James Young of East Petpeswick, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and Doreen H Senior and published as Rocks Of Scilly in Traditional Songs From Nova Scotia, pp.200-201 (Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1950).


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