#00706
If I Was A Blackbird (Andy M Stewart) MIDI, video
See also: If I Were A Blackbird (Harry Hibbs)
And also: The Old Blackbird (MacEdward Leach)
#1674: YouTube video by BardofCornwall ©2011
~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

I am a young sailor, my story is sad,
For once I was carefree and a bold sailor lad;
I courted a lassie by night and by day,
But now she has left me and gone far away.

Oh, if I was a blackbird, could whistle and sing,
I'd follow the vessel my true love sails in;
And in the top rigging I would there build my nest,
And I'd flutter my wings o'er her lily-white breast.

Or if I was a scholar and could handle a pen,
One secret love letter to my true love I'd send;
And I'd tell of my sorrow, my grief and my pain,
Since she's gone and left me in yon flowery glen.

I sailed o'er the ocean, my fortune to seek,
Though I missed her caress and her kiss on my cheek;
I returned and I told her my love was still warm,
But she turned away lightly and great was her scorn.

Oh, if I was a blackbird, could whistle and sing,
I'd follow the vessel my true love sails in;
And in the top rigging I would there build my nest,
And I'd flutter my wings o'er her lily-white breast.

I offered to take her to Donnybrook Fair,
And to buy her fine ribbons to tie up her hair;
I offered to marry and to stay by her side,
But she said in the morning she sailed with the tide.

My parents they chide me, and will not agree,
Saying that me and my false love married should never be;
Ah but let them deprive me, or let them do what they will,
While there's breath in my body, she's the one that I love still.

Oh, if I was a blackbird, could whistle and sing,
I'd follow the vessel my true love sails in;
And in the top rigging I would there build my nest,
And I'd flutter my wings o'er her lily-white breast.

####.... Male variant of a traditional ballad, reworked and published in The Andy M Stewart Collection songbook, 1998 ....####
The video above features an excellent performance of a variant by Jesse Ferguson of Cornwall, Ontario, Fredericton, New Brunswick and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

A female variant was collected in 1951 from Hannah O'Brien of Tors Cove, NL, and published as The Old Blackbird in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was recorded as If I Were A Blackbird by Harry Hibbs (Somewhere At Sea, trk#11, 1971, Arc Sound Ltd., Toronto, Ontario).


See more songs by Harry Hibbs.


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