Modern Street Ballads

Here is a variation, such as I never met with before, of the time-honoured Ballad of


I’ll sing you a song about two lovers,
Who from Lichfield town did come,
The young man’s name was William Taylor,
The maiden’s name was Sarah Naylor.

Now for a Sailor William enlisted,
Now for a Sailor William’s gone,
He’s gone and left his charming Sally,
All alone, which made her mourn.

She dressed herself in man’s apparel,
Man’s apparel she put on,
And set out to seek her own true lover,
For to find him she is gone.

One day she was exercising,
Exercising among the rest,
A silver locket flew from her jacket,
And exposed her milk-white breast.

O, then the Captain stept up to her,
And asked her, what brought her there
All for to seek for my own true lover,
For he has proved to me severe.

If you are come to find your lover,
You must tell to me his name,
His name it is bold William Taylor,
And from Lichfield town he came.

If your lover’s name is William Taylor,
He has proved to you severe,
He is married to a rich lady,
He was married the other year.

If you’ll rise early in the morning,
In the morning by break of day,
There you’ll see bold William Taylor,
Walking with his lady gay.

Then she called for a brace of pistols,
A brace of pistols I command,
And then she shot bold William Taylor
With his bride at his right hand.

O, then the captain was well pleaséd
Well pleaséd with what she’d done,
And soon she became a bold commander,
On board a ship of all her own men.

Then the Captain loved her dearly,
Loved her dearly as his life,
And it was but three days after,
Sarah became the Captain’s wife.

* There is a well-authenticated instance (see Times, November 4, 1799) of a Miss Talbot, who followed her lover as a seaman, and, afterwards quarrelling with him, she enlisted in the army; but her love of the sea was unconquerable, and she joined the Navy, being present on board Earl St. Vincent’s ship on February 14, and again was under fire at Camperdown.

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