Modern Street Ballads


Attention give and a tale I’ll tell,
Of a damsel fair that in Kent did dwell,
On the Kentish coast, when the tempest rolled,
She fell deep in love with a smuggler bold.

Upon her pillow she could not sleep,
When her valiant smuggler was on the deep,
While the winds did whistle she did complain,
For her smuggler ploughing the raging main.

When Will arrived on his native coast,
He would fly to her that he valued most,
He would fly to Nancy, his lover true,
And forget all hardships he’d lately been through.

One bright May morning the sun did shine,
And lads and lasses all gay and fine,
Along the coast they did trip along,
To see the wedding, and sing a cheerful song.

Young Nancy then bid her friends adieu,
And to sea she went with her lover true,
In storms and tempests all hardship braves,
With her valiant smuggler upon the waves.

One stormy night when the winds did rise,
And dark and dismal appeared the skies,
The tempest rolled and the waves did roar,
And the valiant smuggler was driven from shore.

Cheer up, cries William, my valiant wife,
Says Nancy—I never valued life,
I’ll brave the storms and the tempests through,
And fight for William with sword and pistol too.

At length a cutter did on them drive,
The cutter on them did soon arrive,
Don’t be daunted, though we’re but two,
We’ll not surrender—like Britons true.

Cheer up, says Nancy, with courage true,
I will fight, dear William, and stand by you,
They like Britons fought, Nancy stood by the gun,
They beat their enemies and quick made them run.

Another cutter now hove in sight,
And joined to chase them with all their might;
They were overpowered, and soon disarmed,
It was then young Nancy and William were alarmed.

A shot that moment made Nancy start,
Another struck William to the heart,
This shock distressed sweet Nancy’s charms,
When she fell and died in William’s arms.

Now Will and Nancy to life bid adieu,
They lived and died like two lovers true,
Young men and maidens, now faithful prove,
Like Will and Nancy, who lived and died in love.

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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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