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As I rovèd out, oh, one morning in spring,
To hear those larks whistle and the nightingales sing,
I spied a fair damsel that made my heart pain,
She was bleaching her clothes on the beach of Strablane.
I steppèd up to her, these words I did say:
"You're the prettiest girl my two eyes ever have seen;
There's three months and better have run in my mind,
That we would get married, love, if you feel inclined."
Get married, get married? - My age is too young,
Besides, all you young men have a false flattering tongue;
My dadda and mamma they'll both be on me,
If I marry a laddie who's a rover like thee."
"Some marry for money to be proud all the day,
Some marry for beauty but the flower will decay;
But if ever I get married ye will all plainly see,
The girl that is loyal, that's the girl for me."
I turned myself 'round for to go away,
Though my heart lingered there and bid me to stay;
The clouds and the fog soon gave way to rain,
So we shook hands and parted on the beach of Strablane.
"Come back, bonny laddie, and say you'll be mine,
For the last word you told me has changèd my mind."
"If it has changed your mind, my love, it's here you'll remain,
And I'll go and court some other girl on the beach of Strablane."
Collected in 1959 from Nicholas Keough of Parson's Pond NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.499-500, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
A variant was sung by Mrs. McCarthy of Renews, NL, and published as Beaches So Green in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A much shorter variant was sung by Mr. M. Curran [b.1890] of Calvert, NL, and published as The Banks Of Tralee in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).