LOST JIMMY WHELAN 2
Lonely I strayed by the banks of a river
Watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh.
As onward l rambled l spied a fair damsel,
She was weeping and wailing with many a sigh.
Crying for one who is now lying lonely
Sighing for one who no mortal couId see,
For the dark rolling waters now gently around him
As onwards she speeds over young Jimmy's grave.
She cries, "O my darling won't you come to my arrums
And give me fond kisses which ofttimes you gave ?
You promised to meet me this evening, my darling,
So now, lovelie Jimmy, arise from your grave."
Slowly he rose from the dark stormy waters,
A vision of beauty far fairer than sun.
Pink and red were the garments all round him,
And unto this fair maid to speak he began,
Saying, "Why do you rise me from the re-alms of glory
Back to this place where I once had to leave?"
"lt was to embrace in your strong loving arrums,
So now lovelie Jimmy, take me to your grave."
"Darling," he says, "you are asking a favour
That no earthly mortal couId grant unto thee,
For death is the debtor that tore us asunder,
And wide is the gulf, love, between you and me."
"Hard, hard were the struggles on the cruel Mississippi
But encircled around her on every side,
Thinking of you as we conquered them bravely,
I was hoping some day for to make you my bride."
"But in vain was the hopes that arose in my bosom,
And nothing, oh nothing, on earth could be saved.
My last dying thoughts were of God and you, darling,
Till death took me down to the deep silent grave."
"One fond embrace, love, and then I must leave you.
One loving farewell, and then we must part."
Cold were the arms that encircled around her,
And cold was the torm that she pressed to her heart.
Slowly he rose from the banks of the river,
Up to the sky he then seemed to go,
Leaving this fair maid on the banks of the river,
Sighing and weeping in anger and woe.
Throwing herself on the banks of the river,
Crying as though her poor heart it would break,
She cried, "O my darling, my lost Jimmy Welan,
I'll lie down and die by the side of your grave."
From Penguin Book of Canada Folk Songs, Fowke.
note: according to Fowkes, this was widely sung in Ontario, and
spread to the Maritimes, Michigan, Maine and Wisconsin. "This
ballad is almost certainly adapted from an older British one: The
Blantyre Explosion in A. L. Lloyd's Come All Ye Bold Miners is a
relative, but the ancestor has not been identified."
TUNE FILE: JIMWHEL2
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