Digital Tradition Mirror

Female Sailor Bold

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Female Sailor Bold

Come, all ye good people, and listen to my song,
While I relate a circumstance that does to love belong,
Concerning a pretty maid who ventured we are told
Across the briny ocean as a female sailor bold.

Her name was Jane Thornton, so quickly you shall hear,
And as we are informed was born in Gloucester,
Her father lived in Ireland, respected we are told,
But never thought his daughter was a female sailor bold.

She was courted by a captain when scarce fifteen years of age,
And to be bound in wedlock this couple did engage.
The captain had to leave the land as I will now unfold,
And she ventured o'er the ocean as a female sailor bold.

She dressed herself in sailor's clothes, and overcome with joy,
And with the captain did engage to serve as cabin boy.
When in New York in America this fair maid did behold,
She ran to seek her lover did this female sailor bold.

And to her true love's fate she listened with speed,
And enquired for employment, but dreadful news indeed,
Her true love had some time been dead this pretty maid was told;
In agony and sorrow wept the female sailor bold.

Some thousand miles she was from home, from parents away
She travelled seventeen miles through the wood in North Americay
She left her friends and kindred, no parents to behold,
"My true love's gone," in anguish cried the female sailor

Then she shipped on board the Adelaide to cross the briny wave
Through wind and hail and storm and gale she did attempt this brave
She served as cook and steward in the Adelaide we're told
Then sailed on board the Rover did that female sailor bold

From St. Andrews in Americay this fair maid did set sail,
In a vessel called the Sarah, through tempest, storm and gale;
She done her duty like a man, did reef and steer we are told
And respected by the captain was the female sailor bold.

With pitch and tar her hands were hard, though once like velvet soft
She weighed the anchor, heaved the lead, and boldly went aloft
Just one and thirty-six months she braved the tempest we are told
And always done her duty, did the female sailor bold.

Was in the month of February, eighteen sixty-five,
She took a port of London, this Sarah did arrive,
Her sex was then discovered, her secret did unfold,
And the captain gazed with wonder on the female sailor bold.

This female was examined of course by the Lord Mayor,
And in the public paper all reason did appear,
Why did she leave her parents and her native land she told
Across the briny ocean was the female sailor bold.

It was to seek her lover she sailed across the main
True love she did encounter through tempest, wind and rain
Was love caused all her trouble and hardships we are told,
May she rest at home contented now, the female sailor bold.

DT #591
Laws N3
From Creighton, Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia, no.34
Collected from Ben Henneberry of Devil's Island, NS

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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