Early Spring (Kenneth Peacock)
(The Sailor And His Bride)
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Early spring when I was young,
The birds so merrily have sung;
Was there ever a bird so happy as I
When my young sailor lad was nigh?

'Tis six long months since I've been wed,
The times so merrily have fled;
But tomorrow morning by the dawning of the day,
The ocean presses my love away.

The eastern star is shining clear,
The day o'er-breaks on the ocean near;
The sailor leaved his lonely bride,
A-weeping by the ocean-side.

The time rolled on and he came no more
To see his bride on the ocean shore;
His ship went down by the rolling of the storm,
And in the deep my love doth mourn.

I wish I were a-sleeping, too,
In the arms of my true love in the ocean blue;
My soul to my God and my body in the sea,
And the white waves rolling over me.

The eastern star is shining clear,
The day o'er-breaks on the ocean near;
The sailor llies low and his lovely bride,
Is weeping by the ocean-side.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Sailor And His Bride [Laws K10] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, The Sailor And His Bride, published by J F Nugent and Co (Dublin) sometime between 1850 and 1899, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 40(14) ....####

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 2, pp.439-440, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this variant of The Young Bride's Lament is one of the most poignant lyrics in traditional English verse. It is the first song 'Aunt' Charlotte remembers learning from her mother about seventy-five years ago (c.1890). She was six years old.

A variant was recorded as The Bride's Lament by (Albert) Wade Hemsworth [1916-2002] on the album Songs Of The Canadian North Woods (1955, Folk FP 821)

See more songs by Wade Hemsworth.


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