The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88458   Message #2493665
Posted By: RTim
14-Nov-08 - 08:52 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Polly?
Here is an un-published version of The Cruel Ship's Carpenter collected in 1907 by Dr. George Gardiner from George Blake (then of Bitterne, Southampton) that is sung to the tune - Villikins.

Tim Radford.


In fair Warwick city in fair Warwickshire
A handsome young damsel oh! lived there
A handsome young man courted her to be his dear
And he was by trade a ship's carpenter.

The king wanted seamen to go on the sea
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to say
Oh, William, oh, William, don't you go to sea.
Remember the vows that you made unto me.

One morning so early before it was day,
He came to his Polly; these words he did say:
Oh, Polly, oh, Polly, you must go with me
Before we are married our friends for to see.

He led her through groves and valleys so steep
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to weep.
Oh, William, oh, William, you have led me astray
On purpose my innocent life to betray.

It's true; it's true then these words I did say,
For it's all this long night I've been digging your grave.
The grave laying open the spade standing by,
Which caused this young damsel to sigh and to cry.

Oh, William, oh, William, you pardon my life.
I never will covet to be your wife.
I'll travel the country to set you quite free.
Oh, pardon, oh, pardon my baby and me.

No pardon, no pardon; there's no time to stand.
And with that he had a knife in his hand.
He stabbed her fair heart till the blood it did flow
And into the grave her fair body he threw.

He covered her up so safe and secure,
Thinking no one would find her he was sure.
He went on board to sail the world round
Before that this murder could ever be found.

One morning so early before it was day,
The captain came up and these words he did say:
There's a murder on board and it's lately been done.
Our ship she's in mourning and cannot sail on.

Then up stepped one, indeed it's not me.
Then up stepped another, the same he did say.
Then up stepped young William to stamp and to swear.
Indeed it's not me, I vow and declare.

As he was returning from the captain with speed,
He met his fair Polly, which made his heart bleed.
She stripped, she tore him, she tore him in three
Because he had murdered her baby and she.