MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Jimmie and Nancy
George Hatfield NFLD 2 Tape 1 Track 8
Tors Cove Audio:
Song

So late so late one evening in the lovely month of May
We hoist our British Colours for Boston sailed away
We hoist our British Colours for Boston we were bound
The Ireland's fields were covered o'er with pretty girls around

We had on board one sailor lad all in his youthful age
He wrote his love a letter saying he was going away
He wrote his love a letter gave her to understand
That he was going to leave her going to some foreign land

When she received this letter straightway to him did go
Saying Jimmie lovely Jimmie you are not going away
It's three long years or better since I’ve been courting you
So stay at home prove kind and marry me

If l should stay at home my love some other would take my place
And wouldn't it be a scandal likewise a big disgrace
The King has sent for seamen bold and l for one must go
Not for my very life this night l dare not answer no

Now I'll cut off my curly locks men’s clothing l'll put on
And l will go 'long with you to be your servant one
If on the fields of battle you do receive a ball
I’ll bandage up your bleeding wounds if on me you do fall

Your waist it is to slight my love your fingers are too small
To wait on me in battle where many’s the brave man falls
Where big guns they do rattle and musket bullets fly
And silver trumpets sounding to drown their dying cry

Besides there are some pretty girls from Boston brisk or gay
If l should go a-courting what would my Nancy say
My Nancy she would say Jimmie you know l love you too
And l will step one side awhile while they are praising you

Oh Nancy lovely Nancy those words have won my heart
Let you and l get married tonight before we part
Those couple they got married and both sailed o'er the main
l wish them health and happiness and likewise yourself the same


Notes

Sources : Laws K14; Sharp-100E, 30; BrownII, 101; Chappell-FSRA, 38; Karpeles, 1971: 176; Creighton, 40; Roud #527

From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Widdowson, John MUNFLA 64-7; Goldstein, Kenneth S. and Eric West and Marilyn Wilcott MUNFLA 79-1; Goldstein, Kenneth and W. Wareham MUNFLA 79-002; West, Eric MUNFLA 78-236

History: Newfoundland ballad.

Text: This ballad is otherwise known as Farewell, Lovely Nancy. Jimmy tells Nancy he will sail away to fight in the war.   Nancy says that she will disguise herself as a man and follow him, telling him that he will need her to bandage his wounds on the battle field.   He tells her that she is too small and too weak to follow him into battle.   She continues her rebuttal stating that she loves him.   Upon hearing her words of love and devotion, Jimmy wants to get married straight away.   They do so and cross over to Maine together.   The singer wishes them "health and happiness."

Tune: This minor tune sung in 6/8 has classic four line stanzas.

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