Main Content

The Sheffield Apprentice


courtesy of

I was brought up in Sheffield But not of high degree
My parents doted on me, They had no child but me
I roamed about for pleasure Where'er my fancy led
Till I was bound apprentice Then all my joys were fled

I did not like my master He did not use me well
I made a resolution Not long with him to dwell
A wealthy rich young lady From London met me there
And offered me great wages To serve her for a year

I had not been in London Scarce one month two or three
Before my honoured mistress Grew very fond of me
She said I've gold I've silver I've houses and I've land
If you will marry me They shall be at your command

0 no dear honoured mistress I cannot wed you now
For I have lately promised Likewise a solemn vow
To wed with dearest Polly Your handsome chambermaid
Excuse me honoured mistress She has my heart betrayed

She flew into a passion And turned away from me
Resolved within herself She would be revenged on me
Her gold ring from her finger As she was passing by
She slipped it in my pocket And for it I must die

For that before the justice The justice I was brought
And there before the justice I answered for my fault
Long time I pleaded innocent But that was all in vain
She swore so false against me That I was sent to gaol

On the day of execution All on that fatal day
I prayed the people round me 0 pray come pity me
Don't laugh at my downfall For I bid this world adieu
Farewell my dearest Polly I died for love of you

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.