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The Green Mossy Banks Of The Lea

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the album From The Devil To A Stranger (1978).

When first in this country a stranger
Curiosity caused me to roam;
Over Europe I resolved to be a ranger
When I left Philadelphia, my home.

We quickly sailed over to England
Where forms of great beauty do shine;
And there I espied a young woman
And I wished in my heart that she was mine.

Oh it's there I did spy this young woman,
She appeared like some goddess to me.
As she rose from the reeds by the water
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

I stepped up and wished her good morning
And her cheeks, well, they did blush like the rose.
Says I, "How the river looks charming
And your guardian I'll be if you choose."

Says she, "Sir, I ne'er want a guardian;
Young man, you are a stranger to me.
And yonder's my father a-coming
O'er the green mossy banks of the Lea."

Well I waited until up come her father,
Saying, "Your daughter, a lady she'll be.
She'll ride in a carriage and horses
O'er the green mossy banks of the Lea."

They invited me home to their cottage
And soon after this lady she was mine;
And there I built a fine castle
In grandeur and splendour to shine.

So now this American stranger,
All pastime and leisure he can see.
He can live with his gentle young woman
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

So it's all you young women, attention,
No matter how poor you may be:
Just you think on that gentle young woman
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

When first in this country a stranger
Curiosity caused me to roam;
Over Europe I resolved to be a ranger
When I left Philadelphia, my home.

Credits Edit

  • Traditional/Arranged Nic Jones
  • Roud Folk Song Index #987