Bonny Blue-Eyed Jane (Lehr and Best)

Here's adieu unto my native home
that I shall see no more,
With love my thoughts will turn to thee
when on a foreign shore;
Farewell to friends and parents dear,
from you I'll part in pain,
Likewise to you my blooming girl,
my bonny blue-eyed Jane.

When I am absent from your side
out on the lone blue sea,
Your image bright unto my mind
will ever foremost be
To cheer me in my lonely watch
until I see again
The form of her I love so well,
my bonny blue-eyed Jane.

When far beneath the sunny skies
in foreign lands I roam,
Powerless will their beauty be
to win my love from home;
Though I may meet in friendship
with the girls from sunny Spain,
They will not win my love from you,
my bonny blue-eyed Jane.

O were I born of noble blood
with wealth at my command,
I'd share it all with her I love
that girl so fair and grand
The pearls from the ocean depths
devoid of spot or stain
Would not enhance the beauty of
my bonny blue-eyed Jane.

And if kind fortune should decree
that riches I should find,
With loving haste I'd return to her
the girl I left behind -
Across the deep and changeful seas
from roving I'd refrain
And marry her I love so well,
my bonny blue-eyed Jane.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a traditional immigrant song ....####

Collected in 1979 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from Philip J Foley [1905-1982] of Tilting, NL, and published as #12 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, p.21, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this lovely immigrant song is rarely sung in NFLD.

See more Lehr and Best songs.

A variant was arranged and recorded as My Bonny Blue-Eyed Jane by Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne (How Good Is Me Life ©2007 SingSong Inc, St John's, NL).


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