#01589
Strawberry Tower (Kenneth Peacock) (Variant A)
(Scarboro Sand) (The Drowned Sailor)

Jump down to Strawbello Strand (Variant B)

In Strawberry Tower this damsel did dwell,
She was courted by a sailor and he lovèd her well;
He promised he would marry her when he did return,
But a watery misfortune all on him did fall.

As he was a-sailing to his great surprise,
When a most and a terrible storm did arise;
Where the winds they did beat and the billows did roar,
Which drove those poor seamen all on the lee shore.

As she was a-walking down by the seaside,
She saw her own true love all on the beach lie;
And when she come by and put her to a stand,
For she knew 'twas her true love by the ring on his hand.

She kissed him, she hugged him, she called him her dear,
She kissed him and she hugged him ten thousand times o'er;
She says, "I am contented to lay by your side."
In a few moments after this damsel she died.

In Robin Hood churchyard this couple was carried,
In Robin Hood churchyard this couple was buried;
Come all you true lovers that do pass here by,
Go see how contented this couple do lie.
Come all you true lovers since my joys they're all fled,
My grave is instead of a new marriage bed.

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.722-723, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Strawbello Strand (Variant B)

It was of a young couple in Strawbello dwell,
He courted a damsel and he loved her quite well;
He promised he would marry her when he would return,
But the Lord knows what misfortune on this young couple fell.

He shipped on the ocean to sail over the main,
Where the stormy winds blow and the breakers do roar,
Where the stormy winds blow and the breakers do roar,
Which caused every ship to lay in under the lee shore.

Some they have swethearts, some more they have wives,
Which caused every man for to swim for their lives;
Out of the number by chance there was one,
Who has lost his sweet life in a watery tomb.

As she went a-walking down Strawbello Strand,
She saw something dark floating in by the land;
As it drew nearer put her to a stand,
For she knew 'twas her true love by the ring on his hand.

When the sad news in Strawbello arrived,
She hung down her head and began for to cry,
Saying, "I've lost him, I've lost him, I am sure he is dead,
It's a funeral instead of a young marriage bed."

In Strawbello churchyard they buried them both,
And the token of love on her tombstone was wrote:
All you fond lovers that do pass here by,
Think on this young couple in Strawbello died.

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Freeman Bennett [1908-2006] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.724-725, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

####.... Both ballads above by unknown authors are variants of a British broadside ballad, Scarboro Sand (The Drowned Sailor) [Laws K18] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also variants of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Stow Brow, published by John Ross (Newcastle) sometime between 1847 and 1852, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballads 1956 ....####

Kenneth Peacock noted that a variant of this song called The Drowned Sailor appears in Traditional Tunes by Frank Kidson, who says it comes from Yorkshire. 'Strawberry' and 'Strawbello' in these Newfoundland variants are 'Stowbrow' in the Kidson text. Robin Hood's Bay is six miles below Whitby, and Stowbrow, according to Kidson, is a "large and high tract of land on the south side of the bay."


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