Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy

Here’s one of our older rousing choral songs… It does not have a refrain or chorus, but rather is best sung all together.  It is rather old although there are those who argue one way or another.  And it seems more often than not that “Nancy” is the girl you love and intend to make legitimate life with while “Sally” is the girl for good times or had jilted you.

"The Sailor's Farewell" by Mosely, 1744

“The Sailor’s Farewell” by Mosely, 1744

 

Here’s adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu;
I’m a-going around the ocean, love, to seek for something new.
Come change your ring with me, dear girl, come change your ring with me,
For it might be a token of true love while I am on the sea.

When I am far upon the sea, who knows not where I am.
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of your heart, dear girl, are the best of my good will;
So let my body be where it might, my heart will be with you still.

There’s a heavy storm arising, see how it gathers ‘round,
While we poor sailors are on the sea, a-fighting for the crown.
Our officer commanded us, and him we must obey,
Expecting every moment all to get cast away.

There are tinkers, tailors, and shoemakers, lie snoring fast asleep
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are a-plowing through the deep.
There’s nothing to defend us, love, nor to keep us from the cold,
On the ocean wide, where we must bide like jolly seamen bold.

But when the wars are over, there’ll be peace on every shore.
We’ll return to our wives and our families, and the girls that we adore.
We’ll call for liquor merrily, and spend out money free,
And when the money is all gone, we will boldly go to sea.

So adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu
I’m a-going round the ocean, love, to seek for something new.
Come change your ring with me, dear girl, come change your ring with me,
For it might be a token of true love while I am on the sea.

 

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