#02157

Jimmy And Nancy On The Sea - Var A (Peacock)

Click to jump down to Variant B

'Twas late, 'twas late one evening
in the lovely month of May,
We hoist our British colours,
from Bristol sailed away;
We hoist our British colours,
for Boston we were bound,
The hills and fields were covered
with pretty girls all around.

We had a jolly sailor lad
of youthful charm so gay,
He wrote his love a letter
that he was going away;
He wrote his love a letter,
gave her to understand,
That he was going to leave her
bound for a foreign land.

When his love received that letter
she unto him did say,
"Oh, Jimmy, dearest Jimmy,
you are not going away;
It is three years or better
since I'm in love with you,
So stay at home, dear Jimmy,
when they are pressing you."

"If I should stay at home, my love,
some other will take my place,
And loud would be the scandal,
likewise the deep disgrace;
The Queen has called for seamen
and I for one must go,
Not for my life this very night
I dare not answer no."

"Then I'll cut off my curly locks,
men's clothing I'll put on,
And go with you in battle
and be your servant man;
And go with you in battle
if you receive a ball,
To bandage up your bleeding wounds
if on me you do call."

"Your waist is too slender, love,
your fingers are too small,
To go with me in battle where
many where many a brave man falls;
To go with me in battle
where musket shells do fly,
And silver trumpets loud do sound
to drown a dying cry.

"Besides, there are pretty girls over there
both bonny brisk, and gay,
If I should go a-courting
what would my Nancy say?"
"Sure I would say, 'Dear Jimmy,
I am in love with you',
So stay at home, dear Jimmy,
when they are pressing you."

"Oh, Nancy, lovely Nancy,
these words have won my heart,
Will you and I get married
this night before we part?"
This couple they got married
and sailed far over the main,
I wish them health and happiness
till they return again.

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

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from James W (Jim) Dalton [1909-1985] of Codroy, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.202-203, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Jimmy And Nancy On The Sea - Var B (Peacock)

Click to jump up to Variant A

'Twas in the summer season
in the lovely month of May,
When we hoist up English colours,
for Lisbon sailed away;
We hoist up English colours,
for Lisbon we were bound,
For to view the hills and valleys
and pretty maids around.

I wrote my love a letter
that I was going away,
She wrote me back an answer
along with her to stay;
"For six long months or better
I am in love with thee,
So stay on shore, dear Johnny,
prove loyal and marry me."

"If I should stay on shore, love,
while others go in my place,
Wouldn't that be a scandal,
likewise a deep disgrace?
The King he wrote for seamen bold
and I for one must go,
All for my life this very night,
I dare not answer no."

"Now I'll cut off my yellow locks,
men's clothing I'll put on,
And I'll go with you, Johnny,
and be your servant man;
Like a true and faithful servant
upon you I will wait,
And I'll go to the raging seas
let the wind blow ever so great."

"Now your waist it is quite slender, love,
your fingers are too small,
I'm afraid you would not answer, love,
when on you I would call;
If I should meet a pretty lass
both bonny, brisk and gay,
If I should stand to speak to her
what would my Mary say?
If I should stand to speak to her
what would my Mary do?"
"She'd gently step one side, love,
while she'd be kissing you."

"Oh, Mary, my love, Mary,
those words have won my heart,
Now we'll go down to yon green church,
we'll wed before we part."
Those two lovyers they got married
and they sailed over the main,
I wish them health and happiness
and all true loves the same.

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

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1961 from William Nash [1886-1964] of Branch, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.204-205, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Click to jump up to Variant A.

Click to jump up to Variant B.

####.... Both ballads above are variants of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, William and Nancy (I) (Lisbon; Men's Clothing I'll Put On I) [Laws N8] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also variants of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, William And Margaret, published by James Lindsay, Jr (Glasgow) without a date and archived in the Murray Collection of Glasgow Broadside Ballads, manuscript number: Mu23-y1:039 ....####

Kenneth Peacock noted that Variant B would seem to be the older of the two because in verse three it is the King who needs seamen, not the Queen (Victoria) as in verse four of Variant A. Since the names of the lovers are also different, it is possible the variants came from different broadsides issued several decades apart.

Note: "... an added 'y' can enlarge or distort an existing vowel or diphthong: villyan, joynt, lovyer (villain, giant, lover)." Morath, Max (2004) Translating Mister Dooley: A New Examination of the Journalism of Finley Peter Dunne. (The Journal of American Culture Vol.27, Issue 2, page 147.)


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