The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19422   Message #1115155
Posted By: Joe Offer
13-Feb-04 - 02:04 AM
Thread Name: Penguin: The Mermaid
Subject: ADD Version: The Mermaid
(The Mermaid)

1. In the gallant...fleet
There was no ship so fine
As the brig-rigged lugger Maid o' Home;
And the galley there was mine.
Oh long, long may the loud waves roar
On the rocks below the key;
But the Maid o' Home will turn no more.
No more my wife I will see.

2. She was standing out above the banks
When bosun seen a sight so fair:
A sea-witch fine upon the swell
Combing her golden hair.

3. Her comb was of the finest pearl,
Her mirror like the sun.
I have not seen a prettier maid,
A prettier maid not none.

4. She sang a song so soft and sweet
The crew could not move for the sound.
And where the Maid o' Home struck hard
It were fifty fathom down.

5. Then up there stepped the gallant mate,
His face was white and pale.
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye Plymouth men;
No more we'll ever sail,'

6. Then up there sprang the captain hold,
A fearsome man was he.
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye sailor men;
Your homes you'll never see.

7. 'I have a wife, all neat and fair
And dressed in holland fine;
But never more will I see her
Or those broad lands of mine.'

8. The sea-witch sang so loud and clear
Above the roaring waves,
And all of us were there to hear;
We knew it was our knell.

9. 'Come comb my hair for me a while,
Come stroke my hair so fair,
And you will never want your home,
Or your wife that weeps so sore.'

10. 'I will not comb your hair a while
Nor stroke your hair so fair;
But I will always want my home
And my wife that weeps so sore.'

11. The cabin boy, he wept with fright,
The seas they were so high,
And all of us upon that ship,
We knew our death was nigh.

12. The ship it strained and rocked and tore,
Our pretty Maid o' Home.
And then we knew that she would no more
The broad, broad seas to roam.

13. Three times around went the Maid o' Home,
Three times around went she.
And then she sank with her sailor-men all
To the bottom of the sea.

14. In Plymouth there does stand a church
With many a woeful wife
Who mourns for her dear sailor-man
Who's losted of his life.

Version 48B, Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore
No title. Reported by Thomas Leary of Durham as known by his brother, who learned it on Cape Cod. Although not from North Carolina tradition it is given her because it varies rather widely from other versions, not only in the refrain but also in the text.