The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57083   Message #3286683
Posted By: GUEST,SteveG
07-Jan-12 - 03:42 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Long Years Ago (from Shirley Collins)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SAILOR'S WIFE'S LAMENT (from Thompson
You might as well have the earliest text I have.

From Harold W Thompson's 'A Pioneer Songster' publishing the aforementioned ms.

The Sailors Wives Lament (The Sailor's Wife's Lament)

It was early spring the year was young
The flowers they bloom the birds they sang
They all seemed glad but none so glad as I
For my love the sailor lad was nigh

Scarce three months since we were wed
Alas how swift the moments fled
And we must part at the dawning of the day
For the proud ship bears my love away

The morning star was shining still
And the twilight peaped oer the eastern hill
The sailor and his early bride
Sat weeping by the river side

Long years have past he came no more
To his weeping bride on the lonely shore
And the ship went down at the howling of the storm
And the waves engulfed my sailors form

It is autumn now and I am a lone
The flowers are dead the birds have flown
And all is sad but none so sad as I
For my love the sailor no more is nigh

My sailor sleeps beneath the waves
And the mermaids sing oer his ocean grave
The mermaids are at the bottom of the sea
Aweping there sad tears for me

I wish i was a sleeping to
beneath the waves of the ocean blue
My soul to god and my body in the sea
And the blue waves roling over me

I must say this version has all the hallmarks of having passed through several hands. I have seen similar pieces that can be traced back to the 17th century, 'Ah my Love's Dead' for instance and 'The Butcher's Boy', 'Early early all in the Spring', etc.