The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96582   Message #1892214
Posted By: Jim Dixon
23-Nov-06 - 11:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Origins: My Jolly Roving Tar
Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOLLY ROVING TAR (from Bodleian)
From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 16(119c) [Firth c.13(77) and Firth c.13(78) are very similar.] Spelling and punctuation modernized by me.

J. Catnach, Printer, 2 & 3, Monmouth Court
[London, between 1813 and 1838]

It was in London City, and near to the highway.
I overheard a pretty maid as I along did stray.
She did appear like Venus, or some sweet lovely star,
As she walked the beach lamenting for her jolly roving tar.

"O William, gallant William, how could you sail away?
I have arrived at twenty-one. I am a lady gay.
I'll man one of my father's ships and brave the Chinese war,
And to cross the briny ocean for my gallant roving tar.

"Young William looked so manly dressed in his sailor's clothes.
His cheeks are like two roses, his eyes as black as sloes.
His hair hung down in ringlets, but now he's gone afar,
And my heart lays in the bosom of my jolly roving tar.

"It's many pleasant evenings my lad and I did pass,
With many a jolly sailor gay, and many a bonny lass.
The harp was sweetly playing, likewise the wild guitar.
I went hand in hand together with my jolly roving tar.

"Come all my jolly sailors and push the boat from shore,
That I may view my father's ship, to find she is secure.
Provision you'll have plenty, and lots of grog in store.
Give chase, my jolly sailors, for my jolly roving tar."

She quickly jumped into the boat and boldly left the land,
And as the sailors rowed, she waved her lily hand.
"Farewell, you girls of London. I fear no wound or scar."
And away went pretty Susan for her jolly roving tar.