MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Seafaring Song

Kate McCarthy NFLD 2 Tape 15A Track 4
Renews Audio:

LEACH: All right, sing away.

Come all ye landsmen stout and bold and jolly seamen too
Come listen to my tragedy the truth I’ll tell to you
I parted with that lovely girl the girl whom l adore
Commanded to the stormy seas where foaming billows roar

It was to West India we were bound our goodly ship to steer
And all along as we sailed on l thought on Molly dear
We had not sailed a league but seven when the storm began to rise
Oh dark and cloudy looked the sky and the seas rolled mountains high

While l'm alone I’ll sigh and moan while others sport and play
And if l had Molly by my side the time would pass away
Sometimes on deck more times aloft and more times down below
When the thoughts of Molly runs in my mind her love torments me so

Aloud aloud our captain cries the first man to spy land
Its well rewarded he will be with fifty pounds in hand
Our bosun ran with courage bold up to the maintop high
He looked all round with a watery eye neither light or land could spy

Her Captain being at the head of the ship a light he chanced to spy
My hearts of gold be stout and bold a harbour we are nigh
Steer on your ship before the wind and from all rocks keep clear
And its on the ocean we’ll remain till the daylight does appear

We steered our ship before the wind thinking all dangers past
But our poor souls that very night on Sicily’s rocks were lost
Saying Kate my dear you may lament for the loss of your sweetheart
Since cruel friends and stormy winds causes you and I to part

The very first crack our good ship gave aloud our captain cries
Sayin’ the Lord have mercy on our souls it’s in the deep must lie


Text: A sailor leaves this sweetheart behind and goes to sea. During the song her name changes from Molly to Kate.   His ship is wrecked on the rocks by Sicily.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The last word is spoken. Speaking, instead of singing a final word or phrase is generally thought to indicate Irish influence on the singer or song. The meter is 4/4.   The key is B-flat major with an octave range based on B-flat.

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