The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93571   Message #1807118
Posted By: Jim Dixon
11-Aug-06 - 08:18 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Dockyard Gate (from Peter Bellamy)
Here's the text from the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Firth c.12(278). (I have modernized the punctuation.)


Come list, you seamen, unto me and these few lines to you I'll write,
To tell you how the game goes on when you are out of sight;
To let you know how the lads on shore go sporting with your wives,
When you are on the raging main a-venturing your sweet lives.

"The ship she lies in Plymouth Sound all ready to set sail.
May the heavens above protect my love in a sweet and pleasant gale.
May the winds that blow him from the shore to me never more return
Until his pockets are well lined, and then he's welcome home."

Then to take a last farewell of him, she then began to cry,
And pulling out her handkerchief to wipe her weeping eye:
"My husband now he is gone to sea. How hard it is my case,
With plenty more all on the shore and another shall fill his place."

So straightway to the fancy man she goes and these words to him did say:
"Now my husband he is gone to sea. Tomorrow is his half-pay day.
So come down to the dockyard gate and wait till I come out,
For this very day I will spend his half-pay. We will drink both ale and stout."

And the day being spent in sweet content and his half-pay was no more,
"O Never mind, my love," she then said. "My husband he is working hard for more.
Perhaps he's at the topmast head all shivering with the cold.
Possibly it is his watch on deck. Our joys he can't behold.

"Hark! I hear the gun to fire. My husband he is homeward bound.
My husband he's returned from sea. The ship's perhaps in hulk or Plymouth Sound."
So straight to the neighbours' house she goes. "There is only one thing I crave:
Lend me your gown, for mine's in pawn, the only one I have."

So straight away to the ship she goes and boldly walkèd in,
And so grieved for her husband she cried and she flew and kissèd him,
Saying, "My husband he's returned from sea. O how happy I shall be!
Pray stay at home with me, my dear, and go no more to sea."