The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57083   Message #3286253
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
06-Jan-12 - 06:59 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Long Years Ago (from Shirley Collins)
Subject: Lyr Add: LONG YEARS AGO (from Shirley Collins)
Here are Shirley's words from within sound (if Ed is right, please don't burgle me). She seems to have learned it from John Hasted originally. The version is similar to those posted above, though v1 has a missing final word in the last line; the rhyme makes it obvious, but I presume Shirley chose to leave it as she (I imagine) learned it.

Roud # 274, 34 entries; as Steve said above, almost all USA.



Long years ago when I was young,
The flowers bloomed and the birds they sung,
A sailor and his lovely bride
Lay sleeping by the ocean.

It's scare six months since we were wed,
But, oh, how fast the time is fled;
And I must go at the break of day
When the great ship bears my love away.

The years have gone, he comes no more.
She sits weeping by the ocean shore.
The ship went down in the howling of the storm,
And the waves consumed his lifeless form.

I wish that I were with him too
Beneath the waves of the ocean blue.
My soul to God, my body to the sea,
And the great green waves a-rolling over me.

Source: Shirley Collins: cd 1 of within sound

The notes say: "John Hasted learned this song from a soldier during World War Two. To quote the original note from A Pinch of Salt, "like a ship that passed in the night, the soldier was gone without leaving his name or his place of origin"."