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My Bonny Boy in Blue
(Roud 5238)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer's home, March 1988

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Tom Lenihan

My love he is a sailor, my bonny boy in blue,
The day he stole my heart away and promised he’d be true;
But now he’s gone and left me, to plough the raging main,
He promised he’d return again to his Nancy once again.

Chorus:
Oh, dear me, sure my poor heart will break,
Longing for the time to come when Johnny and I will meet.
With his red and rosy cheeks and his heart was always true,
He was the darling of my heart, my bonny boy in blue.

The morning that we parted I heaved a heavy sigh,
I waved my pocket handkerchief when bidding him goodbye.
And when the ship sailed out of sight, I didn’t know what I’d do,
For I nearly thought my heart would break for my bonny boy in blue.

Chorus:
Oh, dear me, sure my poor heart will break,
Longing for the time to come when Johnny and I will meet.
With his red and rosy cheeks and his heart was always true,
He was the darling of my heart, my bonny boy in blue.

He’s going to bring an elephant, a monkey and a bear,
And a bunch of foreign feathers to match his Nancy’s hair.
He’s going to bring a hurley stick that came from Timbuktu,
Just a present to his Nan from her bonny boy in blue.

Chorus:
Oh, dear me, sure my poor heart will break,
Longing for the time to come when Johnny and I will meet.
With his red and rosy cheeks and his heart was always true,
He was the darling of my heart, my bonny boy in blue.

He promised that he’d marry me as soon as he’d come home,
And never from his Nancy then no longer would he roam.
And then when we are married, he never will go to sea,
He’ll sit inside with Nancy-o, with young John on her knee.

Chorus:
Oh, dear me, sure my poor heart will break,
Longing for the time to come when Johnny and I will meet.
With his red and rosy cheeks and his heart was always true,
He was the darling of my heart, my bonny boy in blue.

“Tom couldn’t remember where he learned this but it is possible he heard it being sung on one of the old 78s he received from relatives in America by Nan Fitzpatrick when she teamed up with fiddler Frank Quinn in the early 1930s.”
Jim Carroll


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