Digital Tradition Mirror

The Ship that Never Returned

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Ship that Never Returned
(Henry Clay Work)

On a summer's day, when the wave was rippled
By the softest gentlest breeze,
Did a ship set sail with a cargo laden
For a port beyond the seas.
There were sweet farewells there were loving signals
While a form was yet discerned;
Though they knew it not, 'twas a solemn parting
For the ship, she never returned.

cho: Did she never return? She never returned,
     Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
     Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
     Yet the ship she never returned.

Said a feeble lad to his anxious mother,"
I must cross the wide, wide sea,
For they say, perchance in a foreign climate,
There is health and strength for me."
'Twas a gleam of hope in a maze of danger
And her heart for her youngest yearned,
Yet she sent him forth with a smile and blessing
On the ship that never returned.

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.

note: These are the words and music Work wrote;
transcribed from the original sheet music. Folk-
processing of the tune was dramatic. RG
From Songs of Henry Clay Work, Work
DT #618
Laws D27

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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