Collected by Max Hunter (H- )
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Mrs. Lucy Quigley
Huntsville,road, south of Eureka
June 3, 1958
Reel 249, Item 13
As I walked down by the river side
Where the water there so gently glides
I heard a fair young lady mourn,
Saying, What shall I do? My true love's gone.
She built herself a little boat,
And on the ocean she did float,
And every ship that she'd draw nigh,
She'd inquire for her sweet Willie boy.
She had not sailed upon the deep
Till another boat she chanced to meet,
"Captain, captain, tell me true,
Does my sweet Willie said with you?"
"Oh, no, kind miss, he isn't here;
He sleeps in yonder deep, I fear.
On yons green isles we passed by,
We chanced to lose one sailor boy."
She wrang her hands and tore her hair,
Just like a lady in dispair;
These words she stormed as the boat sailed on,
"If I don't get Willie, I won't have none."
Upon her knees she wrote this song,
She wrote it neat, she wrote it long;
At the end of every line, she'd shed a tear,
At the end of every verse, cried"Willie, my dear!"
"Go dig my grave and dig it deep;
Upon it place some roses sweet;
Upon my breast place the bird of blue,
To 'test to the world my love was true.
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