Dark Eyed Sailor As I roved out one evening fair It bein' the summertime to take the air I spied a sailor and a lady gay And I stood to listen And I stood to listen to hear what they would say. He said "Fair lady, why do you roam For the day is spent and the night is on" She heaved a sigh while the tears did roll "For my dark-eyed sailor For my dark-eyed sailor, so young and stout and bold." "'Tis seven long years since he left this land A ring he took from off his lily-white hand One half of the ring is still here with me But the other's rollin' But the other's rollin' at the bottom of the sea." He said "You may drive him out of your mind Some other young man you will surely find Love turns aside and soon cold has grown Like the winter's morning Like the winter's morning, the hills are white with snow." She said "I'll never forsake my dear Although we're parted this many a year Genteel he was and a rake like you To induce a maiden To induce a maiden to slight the jacket blue." One half of the ring did young William show She ran distracted in grief and woe Sayin' "William, William, I have gold in store For my dark-eyed sailor For my dark-eyed sailor has proved his honour long" And there is a cottage by yonder lea This couple's married and does agree So maids be loyal when your love's at sea For a cloudy morning For a cloudy morning brings in a sunny day. --------------------------------------------------------------- recorded by Christy Moore on "Prosperous" (1972), by Steeleye Span on "Hark! The Village Wait" (1970) and by June Tabor & The Oyster Band on "Freedom And Rain" (1990) This song is a typical broken token ballad (like "Claudy Banks" and many many more). It is remarkable in that it has been collected from oral tradition hundreds of times in all parts of Britain and Ireland, but all versions are virtually the same and can be traced back to one broadside printed in early 19th century. Therefore this song is sometimes cited as a proof for the damaging influence of the broadside on the variety of oral tradition. DT #460 Laws N35 MJ
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!