Adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu,
I am going across the ocean, love, to seek for something new.
Come change your ring with me, dear girl,
Come change your ring with me,
For it might be a token of true love while I am on the sea.
And when I'm far upon the sea you'll know not where I am.
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of your heart, dear girl,
Are the best of my good will,
So let my body be where it might, my heart will be with you still.
There's tinkers, tailors, shoemakers, lie snoring fast asleep,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are plowing through the deep.
There's nothing to protect us, love,
Or keep us from the cold,
On the ocean wide, where we must fight like jolly seamen bold.
There's a heavy storm arising, see how it gathers round,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the crown.
Our officers commanded us,
And them we must obey,
Expecting every moment for to get cast away.
But when the war is over, there'll be peace on every shore,
We'll return to our wives and out families, and the girls that we adore.
We'll drink out liquor merrily,
And spend out money free,
And when the money is all gone -- we'll boldly go to sea.
From Folk Songs of Olde England Vol. I
Recorded by Copper Family, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior
TUNE FILE: SWTNANCY
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Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy (Copper Family)
Sweet Nancy (Copper Family - more usually called "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy")