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Down by some Swansee barracks one evening as I strayed,
A-viewing of the roses red I spied a handsome maid;
Red and rosy was her cheeks the tears they did flow down,
I thought she was some gone astray, the lass from Swansee Town.
I boldly stepped up to her, I said, "What brought you here?"
"I am in search, kind sir," she said, "all for my Willie dear.
Eight years ago he left me, for Princetown he was bound,
He told me that he would be true to the lass of Swansee Town."
"If Willie was your true love's name I know that young man well.
'Twas in a battle with the French your true love Willie fell;
A cannon ball which made him fall and give him his death wound.
He told me for to take you, dear, the lass of Swansee Town."
"Stand back, stand back, young man," she cried, "if what you say is true,
Oh, take me to my Willie dear, I cannot die with you;
Oh, take me to my Willie dear, give me my death wound,
For no other young man will ever enjoy the Lass of Swansee Town."
His jacket then fell open, those marks he did make known.
She flew into her Willie's arms, crying, "Welcome, Willie, home."
There is a cottage by the sea where they are settled down,
Young Willie of the Royal Blue and the Lass of Swansee Town.
Collected in 1950 from Mrs. Peter (Mary Lee) Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Ray, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A variant was collected in 1951 from Mr. Tom Pennell of Trepassey, NL, and published as The Lass Of Swansee Town in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A third variant was collected in 1952 from Harry Curtis of Joe Batt's Arm by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Lass Of Swansea Town in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.547-548, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.