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The Single Sailor


courtesy of - England late 1700s

As William and Mary walked by the sea-side
Their last farewell to take
Should you never return young William she said
My poor heart will surely break

Be not thus dismayed young William he said
As he pressed the dear maid to his side
Nor my absence don't mourn for when I return
I will make little Mary my bride

Three years passed away without news when at last
As she sat at her own cottage door
An old beggar came by with a patch on his eye
Quite lame and pity did implore

If you're charity you'll bestow said he
I will tell you your fortune beside
The lad that you mourn will never return
To make little Mary his bride

Mary started and trembled Oh tell me she cried
All the money I've got I will give
To what I ask you if you will tell me true
Only say my dear William live

In poverty he lives said he
And shipwrecked he has been beside
And return will no more because he is poor
To make little Mary his bride

That he lives Heaven knows the great joy that I feel
Yet still his misfortunes I mourn
For he'd been welcome to me in poverty
In his blue jacket tattered and torn

For I love him so dear so true and sincere
That no other I swear beside
If in riches he rolled and was clothed in gold
Should make little Mary his bride

The patch from his eye the beggar then threw
His old coat and his crutch too beside
With cheeks like a rose and in jacket so blue
'Twas William stood by Mary's side

Forgive me dear maid then William he said
Your love it was only I tried
To church let's away for ere the sun sets
I'll make little Mary my bride

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.