#01660
Nancy From London (3-Variants by Peacock)
See also: Nancy From London (Pamela Morgan)


Nancy From London (Variant A)

Click to jump down to Variant B
Click to jump down to Variant C

Nancy from London, from London's fair town,
Was courted by William on the banks of the Boyne,
Was courted by William a long time ago,
Now he's on the sea sailing where stormy winds blow.

Those cold stormy winds make my heart ache,
Causes my parlor window to shiver and shake.
God knows where my love lies so far from the shore,
I'll pray for his welfare, what can I do more?

A ship in distress, love, is a wonderful sight,
Like a regiment of soldiers just going to fight,
A soldier can lay down his fire-arms and run,
But a sailor must yield to whatever may come.

Soldiers and sailors drink a health to their wives,
Young men love their sweethearts as they love their lives,
Let the punch bowl go around with a full glass in hand,
Drink a health to lovely Nancy I left on dry land.

Green grow the laurels, the tops of them small,
For love is a flower that hangs o'er us all,
For the green leaves will wither and the roots will decay,
But the red rose will flourish when my love comes from sea.

####.... Author unknown ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Christopher (Chris) Theodore Cobb [1897-1968] of Barr'd Islands, Fogo, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, p.568, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Nancy From London (Variant B)

Click to jump down to Variant C

Fair Nancy from London was a fair famous maid,
She was courted by William on board of the Fate,
She was courted by William, it's a long time ago,
He is on the sea sailing where the stormy winds blow.

Those cold stormy winds make my heart ache,
Cause my parlor window to shiver and shake.
God knows where my love lies so far from the shore,
I'll pray for his welfare, what can I do more?

A ship in distress, love, is a wonderful sight,
Like a regiment of soldiers just going to fight,
A soldier can lay down his fire-arms and run,
But a sailor must yield to whatever may come.

Soldiers and sailors drink a health to their wives,
Young men love their sweethearts as they love their lives,
Let the punch bowl go around with a full glass in hand,
Drink a health to lovely Nancy I left on dry land.

So gay blows the mainsail, the topsails and all,
Love's only a shadow hangs over us all,
For the leaves they will wither and the rocks will decay,
And the flowers will flourish in the sweet month of May.

####.... Author unknown ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Kenneth Pink [1938-?] of Rose Blanche, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, p.569, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Nancy From London (Variant C)
(Tall Grow The Rushes)

Tall grow the rushes and the tops of them small,
For beauty is the flower that hangs over us all,
For beauty is the flower and it soon will decay
Ere the red rose wil flourish in the sweet month of May.

Those cold stormy winds make my heart ache,
Cause my parlor window to shiver and shake.
God knows where my love lies so far from the shore,
I'll pray for his welfare, what can I do more?

A ship in distress, love, is a wonderful sight,
Like a regiment of soldiers just going to fight,
A soldier can lay down his fire-arms and run,
But a sailor must yield to whatever may come.

Soldiers and sailors drink a health to their wives,
Young men love their sweethearts as they love their lives,
Let the punch bowl go around with a full glass in hand,
Drink a health to lovely Nancy I left on dry land.

Tall grows the rushes and the tops of them small,
For beauty is the flower that hangs over us all,
For beauty is the flower and it soon will decay
Ere the red rose wil flourish in the sweet month of May.

####.... Author unknown ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Isaac Freeman (Catherine) Bennett [1908-2006] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, p.570, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the tunes for all three variants are so good it was difficult to decide which to put first. However, the text of Chris Cobb's variant seemed to him the most felicitous, so it was chosen. Variant B shows a sailor's influence in the last verse. The last verse of C is a repetiton of the first. The middle verse of all three variants are virtually identical. In many respects C is the most unusual rendition of the song, probably the result of Mrs Bennett's strident, nasal manner of singing, similar in effect to Oriental or Indian voice production. Peacock played this [Mrs Bennett's] recording often for friends, and the reaction was invariably the same: "What on earth is that? Surely it's not a Newfoundland folksong." Peacock continued to note that those who are accustomed only to the creamy renditions of professional folksingers find this old style of Newfoundland singing too nasal and too slow. Each verse of C, for example, lasts nearly one minute. For other examples of 'the grand manner' see the songs of Mrs John (Amelia) Fogarty [1882-?] of Joe Batt's Arm, NL, Philip J Foley [1905-1982] of Tilting, NL, and Patrick J Rossiter [1900-1980] of Fermeuse, NL.


line

Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador



line

~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here