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​The Lakes Of Shinlin

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

Well it's early one morning Billy Henry arose
Straight to his comrade's bed-chamber he goes
Saying, "Rise, loving comrade, let nobody know,
To the dark and chilly waters a-bathing we'll go."

So Billy he stripped and then he went in
And he swam the dark waters all round and around
Saying, "Oh my loving comrade, oh don't you go in
For I see there is a coffin in the Lakes of Shilin."

But the other one, he stripped and then he went in
And he swam the dark waters all round and around
Saying "Oh my loving Billy, why did you go in
To the dark and chilly waters in the Lakes of Shilin."

Now there was an old woman who lived there close by
She went to Billy's parents and she made this reply:
"Your son he went a-bathing as I've heard him say
And now your Billy Henry he's as cold as the clay."

Down came his mother like one in despair,
She's a-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair,
Saying, "Oh my Billy Henry why did you go in
To the dark and chilly waters in the Lakes of Shilin?"

So down came his father like one in despair,
He's a-wringing of his hands and a-tearing of his hair,
Saying, "I brought up a family of fine-bodied men,
And the best of them's drowned in the Lakes of Shilin."

So it's down came his sweetheart like one in despair,
She's a-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair,
Saying, "It's six months and better till my wedding day
And now me Billy Henry he's as cold as the clay.

So we'll go around to Martin's, to Martin's by the shore.
We'll hire us a small boat as we've done before
And we'll search the dark waters all around and all round
Till we see that Billy Henry's fair body is found."

So they went around to Martin's, to Martin's by the shore
And they hired them a small boat as they'd done before.
And they searched the dark waters all around and all round
Till they saw that Billy Henry's fair body was found.

For to see Billy's funeral was such a fine sight:
There was six handsome young men all dressed up in white,
There was six pretty maidens all dressed up in green,
Just to show that he'd been drowned in the Lakes of Shilin.

Credits Edit

  • Traditional/Arranged Nic Jones
  • Roud Folk Song Index #189