Digital Tradition Mirror

Susan Strayed the Briny Beach

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Susan Strayed the Briny Beach

When Susan strayed the briny beach not far from Sligo shore
She often thought on her true love with fondness to adore.
She thought of him with affection and her tongue pronounced name,
For to wed a single sailor lad, she thought it was no shame.

Her father being of a wealthy man and of a high degree,
And she being kind and hearted, most beautiful to see.
For many's the lords and noble men for her shed many's a tear
She rejected them all, for her fond heart was true to Willy dear

"I will not change my mind," said she, "I'll go for Willie, dear
He's guarded by one single plank from a deep eternity.
For once he learns he'll never part; no more from me he'll roam
All dangers past he'll stay with me all in my happy home."

Three days after a storm arose; a tempest swell rolled high
When Susan strayed by Briny Beach and the tears stood in her eye
Thinking of her young sailor, that he might be outcast,
Tossed on some wicked wave or else entirely lost.

She turned herself for to go home, one loving look she gave
She thought she saw something black a floating with the wave
With more than strength she bore the lifeless body high;
She took him up and laid him down where it was dry.

She gazed on his dead body which was all bruised and torn,
Till something told her troubled mind the face she'd saw before
As she turned for to go home, one loving look she gave,
And on his finger she espy a dazzling diamond ring.

With one quick glance right well she knew that ring that Willie wore
What she placed on his finger last parting on the shore.
The gold watch she clasped to his lips to catch one sign of breath
His lovely neck had been unstripped; his eyes were closed in death

His lovely neck had been unstripped; 'twas once like maiden fair
And stripes of seaweed they were all tangled up in his dark brown hair.
Come all young men and maidens, come view a solemn sight
There were twelve young sailors dressed in blue and twelve maids in white.

Just like some early flower cut down in youthful bloom
Fond hearts have caused each other to sleep both in one tomb

DT #695
Laws K19
From MacEdward Leach, Folk Ballads and Songs of the Lower Labrador Coast.
This appears only in America, and only in Newfoundland. The present text,
though two lines shorter, is very close to the Newfoundland version.[MEL]

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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