#01112
John Barbour (Great Big Sea) videos
See also: John Barbour (Kenneth Peacock)
And also: Young Barbour (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
#907: YouTube video by BetweenTheRock ©2009
~ Used with permission ~

What ails you, my daughter dear?
Your eyes they are so dim;
Have you had any sore sickness?
Or yet been sleeping with a man?

I have not had any sore sickness,
But I know what's ailing me;
I'm thinking of my own true love,
Who ploughs the ragin' sea,
He ploughs the ragin' sea.

Be he a lord or a duke or a knight,
Or a man of wealth or fame?
Or is he one of my sailor lads?
Come tell me now his name.

He is no lord no duke nor knight,
Nor a man of wealth or fame.
He is one of your sailor lads
And John Barbour is his name.

Now if John Barbour is his name,
A lowly sailor man is he.
Yes, if John Barbour is his name,
Then hangéd he will be,
Then hangéd he will be.

The king he called his sailors all,
By one, by two, by three;
John Barbour was the first he called,
But the last came down was he.

When he came a-tripping down,
He was clothéd all in white;
His cheeks were like the rose is red
His teeth were ivory bright.

He paid their wages with a smile,
And John Barbour he did see;
He said, If I was a woman as I am a man
My bed fellow you would be.

Will you marry my daughter Jane,
Take her by the hand?
Will you come and dine with me,
And take charge of all my land?

Yes I will marry your daughter Jane
And I will take her by the hand;
And I will come and dine with you,
But to hell with all your land.

For if you can give her one gold piece,
Then I can give her three;
For I am bold John Barbour,
And I plough the raging sea,
I plough the raging sea,
I plough the raging sea.

####.... Variant of an 18th-century English traditional, Willie O Winsbury [Child Ballad #100] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965) ....####
This variant arranged and recorded by Great Big Sea of St John's, NL (Something Beautiful, 2004).

The video above features a live performance of a variant by Great Big Sea at the Sean Sullivan Theatre, Brock University, St Catherine's, Ontario, September, 2009.


See more songs by Great Big Sea.

See more Child Ballad variants from NFLD.

A variant was collected in 1920 as Young Barbour in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968).

The video below features an excellent cover performance by Johnny Fray of Woburn, Massachusetts.


#383: YouTube video by JohnnyFray785 ©2008
~ Used with permission ~


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