Modern Street Ballads


It was in the town of Liverpool, all in the month of May,
I overheard a damsel, alone as she did stray,
She did appear like Venus, or some sweet lovely star
As she walked the beach, lamenting for her jolly roving Tar.

O, William, gallant William, how can you sail away?
I have arrived at twenty one, and I’m a lady gay,
I will man one of my father’s ships, and face the horrid war,
And cross the briny ocean for my jolly roving Tar.

Young William looked so manly, drest all in his sailor’s clothes,
His cheeks they were like roses, his eyes as black as sloes,
His hair hung down in ringlets, but he is gone afar,
And my heart lies in the bosom of my jolly roving Tar.

Come all you jolly sailors, and push the boat ashore,
That I may see my father’s ships and see they are secure,
Provisions we have plenty, and lots of grog in store,
So drink good health you sailors, to my jolly roving Tar.

She quickly jumped into the boat and merrily left the land,
And as the sailors rowed away, she wav’d her lily hand,
Farewell ye girls of Liverpool, I fear no wound or scar,
And away went pretty Susan to her jolly roving Tar.

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The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

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