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Farewell Lovely Mary
(Laws K14; Roud 527)
Austin Flanagan
Luogh, Doolin
Recorded in singer's home, August 1974

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

[Farewell] lovely Mary, I’m now going to leave you,
To the East and West Indies our long course to steer.
But if any cold breezes, or storm blow upon us,
I’ll be with you lovely Mary in the spring of the year.

Oh the big ships are sailing lovely Mary is wailing,
Her lily white bosom is as white as the snow.
Her gay-golden locks she is continually tearing,
I’ll sigh til I die love, will I e're see you more?

“I’ll dress like a sailor my love I’ll go with you,
In the midst of all dangers I will stand as your friend.
And if any cold breezes or storm blow on you,
I’ll be with you lovely Willie and obey your command.”

Your neat little fingers strong tables can’t handle.
Your tiny little footsteps to the top mast can’t go.
Your delicate little body cold winds can’t endure, love.
Stay at home lovely Mary to the seas do not go.

“I’ll dress like a sailor, my love I’ll go with you.
In the midst of all dangers I will stand as your friend.
And if any cold breezes or storm blow on you,
I’ll be with you lovely Willie and obey your command.”

Oh the big ships are sailing, lovely Mary is wailing.
Her lily white bosom is as white as the snow.
And her gay-golden locks she is continually tearing.
I’ll sigh til I die love, will I e're see you more?


"Colm O Lochlainn includes this in 'More Irish Street Ballads' under the title 'Farewell Dearest Nancy'. English collector Henry Hammond wrote about a similar version to this entitled 'Farewell Lovely Nancy' which he found in Hampshire:

'The song seems to be a rewrite of an Irish song called 'Adieu, Lovely Mary', which appears in Joyce's 'Ancient Music of Ireland' to the same tune.'"
Jim Carroll


See also
Farewell Lovely Mary sung by Nora Cleary
Farewell Lovely Mary sung by John Lyons


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