Digital Tradition Mirror

The Cruel Ship's Carpenter

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The Cruel Ship's Carpenter

The moon, it was shining on fair Plymouth town,
There lived a lovely damsel, her name was Miss Brown.
She courted handsome Willie, her darling for to be
His trade long and steady, a ship's carpenter was he.

It was early one morning before the break of day,
A voice came to the window and this to her did say,
Saying, "Rise up lovely Mary, and come away with me
Before we get married, some friends (pleasures) to see.

And he led her through the fields and the valleys oh so deep,
'Til at length lovely Mary began for to weep;
Saying,"Willie, handsome Willie, you've led me astray
Through the fields and the valleys, my life to betray."

"It's true what you say to me, it's just the truth you say
For late, late last night I was a-digging your grave,
Your grave that is open, and spade standing by
And down in the grave your fair body must lie."

And he stabbed her, he stabbed her, 'til the red blood did flow
And into the grave her fair body he did throw,
And he's buried her so neatly and he's covered her so sound
Not thinking this murder would ever be found.

It was early one morning before the break of day,
Over comes the Captain, and this to all did say,
"There's murder on shipboard has lately been done
Our good ship lies in mourning and cannot sail on.

Then up and spoke one sailor, "Indeed 'tis not I,"
Up and spoke another, "The same I do deny."
Then up spoke young Willie to damn, curse and swear
"Indeed, sir, not I, sir I'll vow and declare."

But as he was a-going and turning around,
He spied lovely Mary, she was dressed all in brown,
And she's snatched at him, and she's cut him, and she's tore him in three,
Saying,"That's for the murder of my baby and me!"

From Harmonious Companions, Myers
Transcribed from the singing of Mike Waterson

Note: Another variant of Banks of Red Roses, Pretty Polly, Rose Connally
     etc. This one features a ghost with assertiveness training. RG
DT #311
Laws P36

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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