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Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions

DigiTrad:
A-CREEPIN' AND A-CRAWLIN'
FARE YE WELL, LOVELY NANCY
KNIFE IN THE WINDOW
LOVELY NANCY
NANCY SPAIN
ON ONE APRIL MORNING
RAMBLEAWAY
SWEET NANCY
THE BANKS OF THE DON
THE GREEN BRIER SHORE (2)
THE MANTLE SO GREEN
TOO CLOSE TO THE WIND
WILLIAM AND NANCY


Related threads:
Chords Req: Lovely Nancy (20)
Lyr Req: Courting Too Slow (14)
Lyr Req: Lovely Nancy (11)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Lovely Nancy (Australian) (From Folk Songs of Australia, vol 1 (Meredith/Anderson))


treewind 21 Jan 03 - 12:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM
treewind 21 Jan 03 - 01:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 03 - 01:48 PM
treewind 21 Jan 03 - 02:30 PM
Strupag 21 Jan 03 - 03:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 03 - 03:42 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM
Strupag 21 Jan 03 - 04:19 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 04:20 PM
MMario 21 Jan 03 - 04:21 PM
Mary Humphreys 21 Jan 03 - 04:24 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 04:39 PM
treewind 21 Jan 03 - 04:43 PM
treewind 21 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 07:17 PM
Little Robyn 21 Jan 03 - 08:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 03 - 09:45 PM
Bob Bolton 21 Jan 03 - 09:50 PM
treewind 22 Jan 03 - 10:44 AM
Sandra in Sydney 23 Jan 03 - 07:41 AM
treewind 23 Jan 03 - 07:59 AM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 03 - 04:14 PM
Bob Bolton 23 Jan 03 - 09:55 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 17 - 01:26 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Nov 17 - 12:58 PM
Snuffy 23 Nov 17 - 05:12 PM
Richard Mellish 24 Nov 17 - 03:43 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Nov 17 - 09:36 AM
JeffB 25 Nov 17 - 07:49 PM
JeffB 25 Nov 17 - 08:01 PM
Marje 26 Nov 17 - 12:06 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 12:51 PM

I'm looking for the Australian version of Adieu my Lovely Nancy as collected from Sally Sloane by John Meredith in Australia.

I have Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton's CD, and a recording of a live performance by them of the same song, but they sing a harmony part which I am sure goes both above and below the melody and while I could transcribe both parts I can't tell which is which. It doesn't thelp that their voices are very similar!

Very conveniently at the end of the CD track they include a brief excerpt from the original recording of Sally Sloane. That's OK for the first line and a half - after that it's "here be dragons"

Needless to say, this is definitely not the Coppers version of the song.

Clues gratefully accepted, please

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM

There's a transcription in John Meredith and Hugh Anderson's Folk Songs of Australia vol.I (1967 and 1985: information from the Roud Folk Song Index.) Quite easily got in Australia, not so easily in the UK, but there are one or two copies in the secondhand listings at present.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 01:43 PM

Secondhand listings?

Is this something that gets circulated around S/H booksellers, in which case I know who to ask, or otherwise what should I do to track it down?

Is that a British or Australian publication? If it's British I might be able to see a copy in the Cambridge University Library which is a copyright Library.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 01:48 PM

Australian; the reprint edition (2 vols) is University of South Wales Press. I tend to forget that not everyone is familiar with the web-based book lists. If you run a search at http://www.bookfinder.com/ for [title] folk songs of australia and [author] meredith, for example, you'll get quite a lot, including a few copies in the UK. I doubt if many UK libraries have it, but you never know.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 02:30 PM

Waa - hey!!!

It's in the non-loan section of the Cambridge University Library!
Now I have to convince them I'm eligible for a UL card...

Thanks Malcolm - problem solved I think.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Strupag
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 03:32 PM

Is that the song which is also referred to as "Gentle Annie"? If it is, then there is a great version sung by Martin Wyndham-Reed on his album Emu Plains on Fellside (which has Nic Jones playing fiddle on it)
It has the line "Your mutton's very sweet Gentle Annie and I'm sure it can't be packed in New South Wales" which may be reference to the land act of 1890 which prevented movement of cattle from state to state.
Vin Garbut has also recorded it and I'm sure I've heard Hamish Imlach do it.
It was pretty popular in the UK folk clubs in the early eighties.
If it's a different song then, my apologies. I'll go back to sleep and dream of a golden age.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 03:42 PM

It's a version of Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy. Gentle Annie (in the DT) is an Australian remake of the Stephen Foster song of the same name; very different.


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Subject: ADD: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM

LOVELY NANCY

Adieu, my lovely Nancy,
Ten thousand times adieu;
I'm going to cross the ocean
To seek for something new.
Come, change your ring with me, my dear,
Come, change your ring with me,
It will be a token of true love,
When I am on the sea.

When I am on the sea, my love,
And you know not where I am,
But letters I will write to you
From every foreign land
With the secrets of my mind, my dear,
And the best of my good will.
And let my body be where it will,
My heart will be with you still.

See how the storm is rising,
See how it's coming on,
While we poor folly jack tars
Are fighting for the Crown.
Our captain he commands us,
And his orders we must obey,
Expecting every moment
For to be cast away.

Now the stonn is over,
And we are safe on shore,
We will drink to our wives and sweethearts
And the girls we do adore.
We'll call for liquor merrily,
And spend our money free,
And when our money it's all gone,
We'll boldly go to sea.^^


Source: Folksongs of Australia, Volume 1 (John Meredith & Hugh Anderson, 1967, 1985)
As sung by Sally Sloane.

Click to play


This song is very similar to Sweet Nancy in the Digital Tradition. I'm going to group all the "Lovely Nancy" threads and Digital Tradition entries, but note that there are several different "Lovely Nancy" songs.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM

And here's Joe, had it all the time! This particular lot of Lovely Nancys are Roud number 165, incidentally, which might help with the grouping exercise. Streams of Lovely Nancy (Roud 688) is unrelated, of course.

There are broadside copies at the Bodleian, mostly called Adieu My Lovely Nancy.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Strupag
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:19 PM

Thanks Joe, What a great song!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:20 PM

Hmmm. Looks like The Holy Ground is another version of this song.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:21 PM

see also SWANSEA TOWN


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:24 PM

Thanks a million for the words Joe, but it's the tune we want!
We have about 5 bars of Sally Sloane's original recording on Ruth Hazleton and Kate Burke's CD, but when they sing it in harmony we cannot make out the tune line - their voices are so similar.
If anyone who has the music out there can ABC it, we would be SO grateful!
Mary Humphreys and Anahata (treewind to Mudcatters)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:39 PM

Ja, Ja, Ja - I can't post the tune at Mudcat MIDIs just now, but I'll transcribe a MIDI and e-mail it to you. It was supposed to be a surprise...
Maybe it's best if you e-mail me so I know for sure what address to send it to.
-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:43 PM

Just checked The Holy Ground - lyrics are indeed related but the MIDI from that link definitely isn't the one we're looking for.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM

Joe - you have mail !

or if you see it here first,
whichever address you like : the computers are six feet apart, in the same room and linked by 100Mb ethernet...

Anahata
E-mail sent, and e-mail addresses deleted from this post for safety's sake.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: add: Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy (Coppers)^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 07:17 PM

Here is the Copper Family version of the song. It is very similar to Sweet Nancy in the Digital Tradition.
-Joe Offer-

ADIEU, SWEET LOVELY NANCY

Here's adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu,
I'm a-going around the ocean, love, to seek for something new.
Come change your ring with me, dear girl, Come change your ring with me,
For it might be a token of true love, while I am on the sea.

When I am far upon the sea, you know not where I am,
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of your heart, dear girl, Are the best of my goodwill,
So let your body be where it might, my heart shall be with you still.

There's a heavy storm a-rising. See how it gathers round,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the Crown.
There is nothing to protect us, love, or to keep us from the cold,
On the ocean wide, where we must bide like jolly seamen bold.

There are/is tinkers, tailors and shoemakers lie snoring fast asleep
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are ploughing through the deep.
Our officers commanding us and them we must obey,
Expecting every moment for to get cast away.

But when the wars are all over, there'll be peace on every shore,
We'll return to our wives and families and the girls that we adore.
We will call for liquor merrily, we must spend our money free,
And when our money it is all gone we'll boldly go to sea.^^


As recorded by Bob & Jim Copper, March 1951
source: booklet from Early Recordings of The Copper Family of Rottingdean, a CD released on the Topic label in 2001.
Roud 165.

Click to play

This is the Copper Family tune - I like it better than the tune in the Meredith book.
Garry Gillard has the Copper Family tune here, along with lyrics that are just slightly different.
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy

DESCRIPTION: "Adieu sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu." The sailor must go over the sea "to seek for something new." He promises (to write, and tells) Nancy that, "Let my body go where it will, my heart will love you still." He hopes for a safe return
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1939
KEYWORDS: sailor separation
FOUND IN: Britain(England) US(MW) Australia
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Eddy 153, (fourth of several "Fragments of Irish Songs")
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 178-179, "Lovely Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-Whalemen, p. 260, "(Mary's Cot)" (1 text, mostly from this song though the first verse is "The Rose of Allandale")
DT, SWTNANCY

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Whale-Catchers" (lyrics)
cf. "Old Kitarden" (lyrics)
cf. "The Bold Privateer" [Laws O32] (lyrics)
File: E153D

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 08:25 PM

And then there's the Kipper Family's "Adieu you Pretty Nancy" - or should that be "Polly on the Shore"? Anyway, it's definitely in the 'sailor separations' category! 'I'll stick to Rum and Sailors'!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 09:45 PM

Good advice in the circumstances. A wee bit more advice, for Joe: don't try to link all the Nancys! The same applies to Willies for that matter. You might as well assume that all John Smiths in the world are related to each other. It will end in tears...
I'm linking only the Lovely Nancys, Malcolm, and ignoring the ugly ones - and I will split the groups once they sort themselves out a bit. Pene designed the groups with a lot of flexibility, so it's easy to change them. Grouping partly serves to bring threads and songs to attention, rather than to be a completely correct crosslinking.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 09:50 PM

G'day Joe/Anahata:

Do you have the Sally Sloane tune transcription ... in MIDI or 'dots'?

I certainly have it in Merro's book ... and I may have a tape copy somewhere - but I take it that treewind/Anahata wants an audio sample ... or the 'dots' ... ?

Anyway, I can easily supply a MIDI of the transcribed version ... or a "Sheet music" version as a PDF or TIFF image of what I have in my music program - but that would need an e-mail address, not a MudCat PM.


Anahata: I see that you are down for the launch of Martyn Wyndham-Read's Song Links Project CD in March. We ... The Bush Music Club ... sponsored one of the track - Cathy O'Sullivan singing Barbara Allen. It will be interesting to hear the full set ... whenever they reach the Antipodes!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 10:44 AM

Joe has sent me a MIDI of the Sally Sloane Transcription.
(thanks again Joe)
I've MIDI2ABC'd it and done some hand editing of the ABC, but until I can get home and check carefully (no audio at work, no time really either) I can't be sure it's right yet, but it's just what we need.

Bob, the Song Links launch is the reason why we want the song. We've got to perform it for the concert!

We did an English version of Barbara Allen for thre Sidmouth Song Links concert and will be doing it again for the March one.

We're also after an Aussie version of Banks of the Nile - Martyn says Nancy Kerr and James Fagan have recorded it but I can't find it anywhere. There seem to be many versions so we don't know which one it's supposed to be. I've emailed James Fagan but that's a long shot. On the other hand we'll be seeing Martyn on Sunday so let's hope he can clear things up then.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:41 AM

Just for the record (on this thread) the National Library of Australia site is & that's where John Mededith's collection can be found. I'm sure Bob will have posted this somewhere!

Treewind - I have the 3 albums released by James & Nancy & also Scalene (released with Sandra Kerr) & it ain't anywhere.


sandra (also on the Bush Music Club committee)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: treewind
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:59 AM

Apologies for being so thick -

I've had an email from James Fagan and spoken to Paul Adams at Fellside and it emerges that they have recorded it for the song links project itself - bleedin' obvious as soon as I thought of it!

So all should be OK - Martyn has a copy of Song Links, possibly only a rough mix at this stage, in his pocket and we should see him soon...

Oh, and our own version of Lovely Nancy is well in progress now...
Thanks everybody for all the information.
Another triumph for the MudCat!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 04:14 PM

With the new server, Mudcat MIDIs is able to take uploads again. You'll see a link to the tune at the top of the page.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Lovely Nancy - Australian Version
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 09:55 PM

G'day treewind/Anahata,

I'm glad that Joe got a MIDI to you. I found that I had not picked up Merro's dots into my music program, so I started a new music file for Lovely Nancy, last night. I must say I'm still a little unsure about how the words in the last phrase fit to the tied notes in that line ... I took a guess, but I need to dig out a recording (maybe on the Graham McDonald/Larrikin Records A Garland for Sally LP, down there in the vinyl collection!).

BTW: I'm sure that the National Library of Australia could supply a copy of Merro's field tape of Sally herself ... but it would take time, and a little research. If you want a copy (and I don't have one on vinyl) I can chase it, from somewhat closer ... now that Canberra is not actually still burning! (But there's another nasty, hot day coming - 36º C on Sunday!).

PM me, with a direct e-mail address, if you want the 'sheet music' off my music program ... and I'll find out if there's a record track that I can suck into the computer and transmogrify into a compact MP3.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 17 - 01:26 AM

I have a theory that pretty much everybody sings the second verse of "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy" wrong because the Copper Family wrote it down wrong in their book, and then proceeded to keep singing it wrong because that's what it said in their book, and then everybody else sings it wrong because the Coppers did.

I refer to the second verse, which goes more or less like this, according to pretty much everyone:

And when I'm far upon the sea, you know not where I am,
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of your heart, dear girl, are the best of my good will,
So let your body be where it might, my heart shall be with you still.

What the heck does that even mean? The secrets of her heart are the best of his good will? Huh? How does he KNOW the secrets of her heart, given that we're not talking about letters from her to him? And why are we getting into where her body's going to be? He's the one who's leaving.

My theory is that the verse is really meant to go like this:

And when I'm far upon the sea, you know not where I am,
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of MY heart, dear girl, AND the best of my good will,
So let MY body be where it might, my heart shall be with you still.

That way it makes sense. The secrets of his heart and the best of his good will will be the contents of the letters. She won't know where he is, as he mentioned in the first line, but wherever that is -- let his body be where it might -- his heart will still be with her, because he's sending her all those nice letters.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Nov 17 - 12:58 PM

I sing number 2, otherwise the Coppers version. It got corrected in my head unconsciously sometime over the past 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Nov 17 - 05:12 PM

I too have always sung your "corrected/original" version, despite being aware of how the Coppers sang it. That was the only way to make sense of the verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 24 Nov 17 - 03:43 AM

This is possibly not the most appropriate thread, but since it has just been refreshed with a comment about what makes sense or not, here's another.

In the first verse he says "Come change your ring with me, dear girl", so clearly he's speaking to her before he sails. The second verse seems a continuation of the same conversation.

But in the third verse there's a storm arising. So not only is the ship at sea, but it must have been at sea for some time, because it would surely not have set sail if a storm was imminent.

We may or may not care about this, of course.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Nov 17 - 09:36 AM

Lingering and leaping, Richard. No problem.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: JeffB
Date: 25 Nov 17 - 07:49 PM

Snuffy and Guest of 23 Nov 17    Your re-write makes perfect sense and if you want to sing it that way no-one should object, but I much prefer the Coppers' version because it describes the relationship in a very compact way.

"The secrets of your heart, dear girl, are the best of my goodwill" - No-one else knows how you feel about me, and no-one else cares about me, so your love is the best thing I've got.

"So let your body be where it may, my heart will be with you still." - Doesn't matter that you are far away, I'm thinking of you with all my love."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: JeffB
Date: 25 Nov 17 - 08:01 PM

And on looking at the on-line Bodleian Ballads I see that a mid-19th cent broadside (Jackson & son, Birmingham 1842-55) has your version. So you are correct (whatever that means in folk song). But I still prefer the Coppers'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lovely Nancy - Various Versions
From: Marje
Date: 26 Nov 17 - 12:06 PM

I have always wondered about that last line - the whereabouts of her body would be fairly predictable, whereas he was out on the ocean and could be anywhere, so it does make more sense to say "So let my body be where it might.." after which the "my heart.... "is a more logical sequence than "your body/my heart".

Marje


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