Rick sings this song rather differently from the Andy Stewart/Paull Elliott presentation. Rick first recorded this in with Donna Glover in their 2001 album “Love’s Labor”, but re-released it along with Dawn Indermuehle in 2022 in their album “The Anchor, Plow, and Ballot“.
I once knew a maiden; a maiden so fair
Fell in love with a sailor; a young sailor boy
He courted her daily; by night and by day
‘Till at length this young sailor, he sailed far away.
Oh if I was a blackbird; could whistle and sing
I’d follow the ship that my true love sails in
And there in the top rigging, I’d there build my nest
And fly, like a seagull, to his lily-white breast
My love, he is handsome in every degree
My parents despise him because he loves me
But let them despise him and say what they will
While there’s breath in my body I will love that boy still
Oh if I was a scholar; could handle a pen
One long, loving letter to my true love I’d send
I’d write of my sorrow, my grief, and my woe
And if I could but find him, I would crown him with gold.