Thanks for the detailed response Don.
I ain't hangin' on nothing.
It's a song I sing often and I find the whole sentiment/melody beautifully tragic.
The song itself more than allows for my interpretation.
The opening line is
"Why weep ye by the tide lady,why weep ye by the tide"
This is before any mention of an offer of marriage or possible implication of force thereof.(In fact I interpret the offer of marriage as an attempt at consoling the girl, albeit one with an ulterior motive...his son gets the comely maiden)
Now,no doubt you may present the consensus of opinion, and indeed the historically accurate viewpoint of the song, but we shouldn't let that stand in the way, should we?