MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Faithful Sailor Boy

Mrs. T. Ghaney NFLD 2 Tape 14A Track 5
Fermeuse Audio:

One dark and stormy winters night when the snow lay on the ground
A sailor boy stood on the quay and his ship was outward bound
His true love standing by his side shed many a bitter tear
And as he pressed her to his heart he whispered in her ear

Fare you well my own true love he says this parting gives me pain
But you will be my guiding star until l return again
My thoughts will be on you my love when the storms are raging high
Fare you well true love remember me I’m your faithful sailor b'y

It was in the gale the ship set sail and the lassie was standing by
She watched the vessel out of sight and the tears they dimmed her eye
She prayed to the almighty God to guide him over his way
Her true lover's parting words that night they re-echoed over the main

But ‘twas sad to say the ship returned wit'out her sailor b'y
For he had died all on his way and the flag was half-mast high
And when his comrades came on shore a letter to her they brought
And the last lines of this letter those were the words he wrote

Fare you well my own true love he said on this eart' we will meet no more
But we will meet in heaven above that land beyond the shore
I hope to meet you there my love in that bright happy sky
Where you'll never no more be parted from your faithful sailor boy


Sources: Laws K13; English, 1959:5 (fragment); Mercer, 1979: 117.
From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Broderick, Tina MUNFLA 72-238; Casey, Geogre MUNFLA 68-40; Dawe, Audrey MUNFLA 73-89; Dupree V. MUNFLA 67-34 (Your Faithful Sailor Boy); Fudge, J. MUNFLA 69-34 (Goodbye My own True Love); Power, Mary MUNFLA 71-26;

Text: A young sailor says goodbye to his beloved before going to sea. They swear their love across the water. When the ship returns, the young man has died but wrote a letter promising reconnection in the afterlife.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The meter is 4/4. The key is G major with a range of a major 9th from G to A.

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