From the album The English Lament
This is another English maritime song, from the late 1700s and it’s about the closest thing to a love letter that a sailor back then would have sent to his sweetheart in Dear Old Blighty from wherever he was on the world’s oceans.
A descriptive song it tells us what a sailor's lot was like 200 years ago and of life in the British navy.
Here’s adieu sweet lovely Nancy, 10,000 times adieu
For I’m going over the ocean love to seek for something new
Come and change your ring with me dear girl, come and change your ring with me,
That it might be a token of true love when I am on the sea.
And when I’m far upon the sea you’ll know not where I am
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land
The secrets of my heart dear girl and the best of my good will
For let my body be where it might my heart will be with you still.
There’s a heavy storm arising, see how it gathers round,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the crown.
There’s nothing to protect us love or keep us from the cold
On the ocean wide where we must bide like jolly seamen bold.
There’s tinkers, tailors and shipmakers lie snoring fast asleep
While we poor boys on the ocean wide are plowing through the deep
Our officers commanding us and them we must obey
Expecting every moment for to be cast away.
Oh but when the wars are over there’ll be peace on every shore
We’ll return to our wives and families and the girls we do adore
We’ll call for liquor merrily and spend our money free
And when our money it is all gone, we’ll boldly go to sea.