Collected by Max Hunter (H-11)
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Mrs. Laura McDonald
Reel 255-56, Item 13
Down by the shore of a sounding sea
Was the home of lily Lee;
Over the ocean so far away
Went sailing her lover, Nathan Gray.
He sailed away, and away, and away,
Farther and farther, day by day,
Thinking of his diamonds and of his gold
And the joys they'd bring him when he got old.
After many long years tossing about,
The good ship started on a homeward route;
Now, said Nathan, in his own vanity,
I'm going to the home of Lily Lee.
Good ship landed safe once more,
Stepped his foot on the sounding shore;
Off he ran to the dear beloved spot,
To find a bleak and desolate lot.
On he started through the field,
For, he said, I will not yield;
The graveyard lay, before bid his way,
All covered with flowers in the month of May.
Twenty graves he read and passed;
Quick he stopped and stood aghast;
Upon a marble stone, oh what did he see
But the sacred name of Lily Lee.
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