The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62524   Message #1010511
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
29-Aug-03 - 08:33 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Ten Thousand Miles Away
Subject: Lyr Add: TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY
Lyr. Add: TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY (2)

Sing oh! for a brave and valiant bark,
And a brisk and lively breeze,
A bully crew, and a captain too,
To carry me over the seas;
To carry me over the seas, my boys,
To my true love so gay-
She has taken a trip on a government ship,
Ten thousand miles away.

Chorus:
So blow the winds, I, O,
A roving I will go,
I'll stay no more on England's shore,
So let the music play,
I start by the morning train
To cross the raging main.
For I'm on the move to my own true love,
Ten thousand miles away.

My true love she is beautiful,
My true love she is young.
Her eyes are blue as the violet's hue,
And silvery sounds her tongue;
And silvery sounds her tongue, my boys,
But while I sing this lay,
She is doing the grand in a distant land,
Ten thousand miles away.

Oh! that was a dark and dismal day,
When last she left the Strand,
She bade good-bye with a tearful eye,
And waved her lily hand.
She waved her lily hands, my boys,
As the big ship left the bay.
Adoo, says she, remember me,
Ten thousand miles away.

Oh! if I could be but a bos'n bold,
Or only a bom-ba-dier,
I'd hire a boat, and hurry afloat,
And straight to my true love steer;
And straight to my true love steer, my boys,
Where the dancing dolphins play,
And the whales and sharks are having their larks,
Ten thousand miles away.

Oh! the sun may shine thro' a London fog,
And the Thames run bright and clear,
The ocean's brine be turned to wine,
And I may forget my beer;
And I may forget my beer, my boys,
And Landlord's quarter *(sic)day. (*pay)
But I'll never part from my own true love
Ten thousand miles away.

Bodleian Library, Ballads Catalogue, Harding B 11 (3763), J. Harkness, printers, Preston, date between 1840-1866 (closer to ca. 1860- ref. to morning train).
Hugill's version (DT) differs by emphasizing the transportation aspect, mentioning Botany Bay. The singer as well is taking a government ship. Obviously not a sailors' song; a music hall and mid-Victorian parlor song, or perhaps, as Hugill says, sung by street singers. Hugill offered no evidence that the song was originally Irish. I can find no thread on this song.

The song has been eclipsed by its parody, "A Capital Ship," thread 63496 and 24814, which was composed in the 1880s by C. E. Carryl.
childish Capital Ship
Capital Ship

TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY

Sing ho! for a brave and gallant barque
And a brisk and lively crew,
Sing ho! for a jolly captain
And a jolly good ship too.
To carry me over the sea, my boys,
To my true love away.
For she's taken a trip in a government ship
Ten thousand miles away.

Oh, my true love was handsome,
And my true love was young,
Her eyes were as blue as the violets hue
And silvery sounds her tongue.
And silvery sounds her tongue, my boys,
And while I sing this lay,
She's a-doing the grand in a distant land
Ten thousand miles away.

Fragment sung by 'Duke' Tritton, from John Meredith and Hugh Anderson, "Folk Songs of Australia," 1967 (1979), p. 272-273.
Bob Bolton may be able to add this Australian version.

Lyr. Add: TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY (3)

On the banks of a lonely river
Ten thousand miles away,
I had an aged mother
Whose hair was turnin' gray.

Oh blame me not for weepin',
Oh blame me no i pray,
For I want to see my mother
Ten thousand miles away.

I wish I was a little bird,
I'd fly so far away
To the banks of the lonely river
Ten thousand miles away.

Last night as I lay sleepin'
I drempt a pleasant dream,
I thought I seen my mother
Close by a lonely stream

Today I got a letter,
"Twas from my sister dear,
She spoke of my dear mother,
An' I wish that she was here.

They tell me they have laid her
In the cold and silent grave,
On the banks of the lonely river
Ten thousand miles away.
But as years roll on before me,
I sometimes kneel an' pray,
For the banks of the lonely river
Ten thousand miles away.

Doesn't really belong in this thread, but the title is the same. Mrs. C. A. Wilson, Arkansas, 1932, in Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, pp. 697-698, with music. Also in "Folksongs of Nebraska," 1915, p. 49.
There are similar songs under different titles; a new thread may be needed to gather them and this one.