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William And Nancy's Parting

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the album Nic Jones (1971).

Come all you pretty maidens that have a mind to go,
All along with your lover for to face the daring foe;
I've a mind to venture where the cannonballs do fly
All along with my love I'll go.

He says, "My lovely Nancy, I hope you'll not repine
For I must go on board our noble fleet to join.
Our orders are to sea, my dear, and now we must obey
And behind me you must stay."

She says, "My lovely William, oh don't you leave me here;
I'll dress me as a seaman and along with you I'll steer.
Oh let me go along with you, your messmate for to be
And I'll fight so manfully."

He says, "My lovely Nancy, great danger is at sea;
Perhaps we may be shipwrecked or else be cast away.
And in the line of battle perhaps you may be slain;
So behind me you must remain."

"Your pretty little fingers they are so long and small,
You'll think it but hard usage our cable ropes to haul.
When the winds they do blow high and the billows loudly roar
At home you must be on shore."

So now my love has gone abroad as I do tell you plain;
Kind heaven shall protect him while he's ploughing on the main,
Protect him from all danger where the cannonballs do fly
And send my William home again.

Credits Edit

  • Traditional/Arranged Nic Jones
  • Roud Folk Song Index #958

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