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My Boy Willie


courtesy of

It was early early all in the Spring

That my boy Willie went to serve the King

The night was dark and the wind blew high

It was then I lost my dear sailor boy

The night is long and I can find no rest

The thought of Willie runs in my breast

I'll search the green woods and village wide

Still hoping my true love to find.

Oh father father give me a boat

Out on the ocean that I may float

To watch the big boats as they pass by

That I might enquire for my sailor boy

She was not long out upon the deep

When a man-o-war vessel she chanced to meet

Saying Captain captain now tell me true

If my boy Willie is on board with you

What sort of boy is your Willie dear

Or what sort of a suit does your Willie wear

He wears a suit of the royal blue

And you'll easy know him for his heart is true O

h, then your boy Willie I am sorry to say

Has just been drowned the other day

On yon green island that we pass by

'Twas there we laid your poor sailor boy

She wrung her hands and she tore her hair

And she sobbed and sighed in her despair

And with every sob she let fall a tear

And every sigh was for her Willie dear

Oh father, make my grave both wide and deep

With a fine tombstone at my head and feet

And in the middle a turtle dove

That the world may know that I died of love

Come all you sailors who sail along

And all you boatmen who follow on.

From the cabin-boy to the mainmast high

Ye must mourn in black for my sailor boy

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.