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​Sir Patrick Spens

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the album Ballads And Songs (1970).

Oh the king he sits in Dunfermline town
A-drinking the blood-red wine,
"Oh where will I get a fine mariner
To sail seven ships of mine?"

And then up spoke a fine young man,
Sat at the king's right knee.
"Sir Patrick Spens is the best mariner
Has ever sailed on the seas."

So the king he has written a broad letter
And signed it with his own hand,
And he's sent it off to Sir Patrick Spens
All walking all on the stand.

And the very first lines that Patrick he read
A little laugh then gave he,
And the very last lines that Patrick read
The salt it has filled his eyes.

"Oh, who is he, that's done this deed
And told the king on me?
For never was I a good mariner
And never do intend to be.

"Late yestreen I saw the new moon
With the old moon in her arms,
And I fear I fear a deadly storm
Our ship she will come to harm.

"But rise up rise up my merry men all
Our little ship she sails in the morn,
Whether it's a-windy or whether it's a-wet
Or whether there's a deadly storm."

And they hadn't been sailing a league or more
A league but barely nine,
Till a wind and wet and sleet and snow,
Come a-blowing up behind.

"Oh where can I get a little cabin boy
To take the helm in hand,
While I go up to the top mast high
And see if I can't spy land?"

"Come down come down Sir Patrick Spens
We fear that we all must die,
For in and out of the good ship's hull
The wind and the ocean fly."

And the very first step that Patrick he took
The water it came to his knees,
And the very last step that Patrick he took
They drowned they were in the seas.

And many was the fine feather bed
That floated on the foam,
And many was the little lord's son
That never never more came home.

And long long may their ladies sit
With the fans all in their hands,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Come a-sailing along the strand.

For it's fifty miles to Aberdeenshire
It's fifty fathoms deep,
And there does lie Sir Patrick Spens
With the little lords at his feet.

Credits Edit

  • Traditional /Arranged Nic Jones
  • Child Ballad #58
  • Roud Folk Song Index #41