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The Whitby Maid

[John Leonard]

The earliest recording of John Leonard's The Whity Maid that I know of is on his and John Squire's 1976 Rubber Records album Broken-Down Gentlemen. Curiously enough, all albums listed below claim it were a traditional song.

Kathryn Roberts sang The Whitby Maid in 2003 on her and Sean Lakeman's CD 2..

Cara sang The Maid of Whitby in 2007 on their CD In Between Times. They commented in their sleeve notes:

This […] song appeals to us because of the idea behind the clever little family enterprise. We haven't been to Whitby so far, but sure the boys will be careful if we ever get there.

This video shows Cara singing The Maid of Whitby as an encore at Katharinenkirche Oelsnitz / Vogtland on March 14, 2015:

The Outside Track sang The Whitby Maid in 2012 on their CD Flash Company. They commented in their sleeve notes:

Sailors beware! This song portrays the details of a cunning scheme between a beautiful maid from the town of Whitby and her father, who swindled travelling sailors out of their precious belongings. We learned it from the singing of Kathryn Roberts and inserted bits of Jerry Hollands's tune, Fr. John Angus Rankin.

The Coach House Company sang The Whitby Maid live at Cecil Sharp House on January 17, 2015:

Lyrics

Cara sing The Maid of Whitby

It's of a maid in Whitby town, she was both fair and clever,
She would sit by her father's door no matter what the weather.
A sailor coming home from sea, pockets overflowing,
He saw the maiden sitting there quietly with her sewing.

“Oh, won't you come along with me, my bonny, oh my honey?
And we will go down to Whitby town and spend a little money.”
“Father he would not agree, would be against his wishing.”
With a twinkle in her eye she said that he's gone fishing.

Chorus (repeated after every other verse):
Blow away you northern winds, blow away so cruelly,
Blow away you northern winds.
But mot so cruel as a pretty maid, they deceive you surely,
Blow away you northern winds.

This couple's gone to Whitby town and soon were making merry
In every tavern in the town they spent a little money.
The night came down, the stars came out, the lady said, “My sailor,
Oh won't you come back home with me? I feel I must repay you.”

They went home and went upstairs, the maid turned down the covers,
Saying, “Come to bed, my sailor boy, let's you and I be lovers.”
The sailor jumped out of his clothes, no quicker than he ought to.
When the door broke down and a man came in, saying, “Who's that with my daughter?”

Sailor through the window leapt and to his ship's gone running,
He's left behind his clothes, his watch, and the best part of his money.
Father with the daughter went down to the kitchen table,
They shared the sailor's money out as quick as they were able.

Father's gone to buy new boots and a new suit from the tailor's,
Daughter to the door has gone to watch and wait for sailors.

The Outside Track sing The Whitby Maid

It's of a maid in Whitby town, she was both fair and clever,
She would sit by her father's door no matter what the weather.
A sailor coming home from sea, pockets overflowing,
Saw the maiden sitting there quietly with her sewing.

“Won't you come along with me, my bonny, oh my honey?
We'll go down to Whitby town and spend a little money.”
“Father he would not agree, would be against his wishing.”
With a twinkle in her eye she said that he's gone fishing.

Chorus (repeated after every other verse):
Blow away northern winds, blow away so cruelly,
Not so cruel as a pretty maid for she'll deceive you surely.

This couple's gone to Whitby town, soon were making merry
At the tavern in the town and spent a little money.
The night came down, the stars came out, the lady said, “My sailor,
Won't you come back home with me? I feel I must repay you.”

They went back home and went upstairs, and they turned down the covers,
“Come to bed, my sailor, it's you and I be lovers.”
The sailor jumped out of his clothes, quicker than he ought to.
The door broke down and the man came in, saying, “Who's that with my daughter?”

Sailor through the window's leapt and to his ship's gone running,
He's left behind his clothes, his watch, the best part of his money.
Father with the daughter's gone down to the kitchen table,
They shared the sailor's money out as quick as they were able.

Father's gone to buy new boots and a new suit from the tailor's,
Daughter to the door has gone to wait and watch for sailors.

Acknowledgements

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: The Whitby Maid.