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A Sailor Courted a Farmer's Daughter / The Constant Lovers

[ Roud 993 ; Laws O41 ; G/D 6:1093 ; Henry 634 ; Ballad Index LO41 ; Bodleian Roud 993 ; Wiltshire Roud 993 ; trad.]

The Galliard sang A Sailor Courted a Farmer's Daughter in 1963. This album was released in the USA as England's Great Folk Group and in the UK as the Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor duo album The Next Tonight will Be with Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor.

Dominic Behan sang a parody of this song in 1964 on his Topic EP Dominic Takes the Floor.

Kathryn Roberts and Kate Rusby sang this as The Constant Lovers in 1995 on their CD Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts. This video shows them at The Albert Hole Bristol on March 15, 1995:

Lyrics

Kathryn Roberts and Kate Rusby sing Constant Lovers

A sailor courted a farmer's daughter
That lived convenient to the Isle of Man.
And mark good people what followed after,
A long time courting and nothing done.
A long time courting but still discoursing
Of things concerning the ocean wide.
He said, “My darling, at our next meeting
If you'll be constant, I'll make you my bride.”

“As for sailors, I don't admire them
Because they sails in so many parts.
First they love you and then they slight you
And leave you behind with a broken heart.”
“Don't say so, my dearest jewel,
I never intended to serve you so.
I have once more to cross the ocean;
You know, my darling, that I must go.”

The news was carried unto his mother
Before he set one foot on board,
That he was courting a farmer's daughter
Whose aged parents could not afford
One penny portion. Down to the ocean
Like one distracted his mother ran.
“If you don't forsake her, your bride not make her,
I will disown you to be my son.”

“Mother, Mother, you're in a passion,
I'm sorry you have spoke too late.
Don't you remember in your first beginning,
My father married you from a servant maid.
Don't you despise her, I mean to rise her
As my own father to you has done.
And I will take her, my bride I'll make her,
You may disown me to be your son.”

When his true love she heard the story
Straight to the ocean then she did run.
Saying in a passion, “You need not mind her,
We shall have money when they have none.”
“Money or not, you are my lot,
You have my heart and my free good will.
And I will take you, my bride I'll make you,
Let my scolding mother say what she will.”

The sailor married his farmer's daughter,
They live contented in the Isle of Man.
And mark good people what followed after,
A long time courting and all was done.
A long time courting and still discoursing
of things concerning the ocean wide.
He said, “My darling, my dearest jewel,
I love you dearly my constant bride.”

Dominic Behan sings A Sailor Courted a Farmer's Daughter

A sailor courted a farmer's daughter,
Who lived contagious to the town of Strabane
With love and melody he did besought her
That she'd marry him before she'd marry any other type or classification of a man.

Now this farmer's daughter had proud possessions,
A silver teapot and two-pounds-ten in gold,
“Would you marry me, me dear deep-water sailor,
If I wrapped them up in a bundle and threw them down deep into the ocean cold?”

“I'd marry you, me heart's contentment,
If you had nothing but your ould one's curse.”
So she made a bundle of all her possessions,
And threw them down deep in the bottom of the ocean; that ends that verse.

But this brisk young sailor could swim like a duckeen,
So diving deep to the bottom of the ocean, he dived down deep below.
He got the bundle and come up chuckling,
Thinking of the wonderful time he'd have with the money when he got to the fair of Ballinasloe.

But this farmer's daughter near killed herself laughing,
For all in the bundle was a wee pinthaneen of a stone.
A sailor courted a farmer's daughter,
Now he wished that he'd left her… alone.

Links

See also the Mudcat CafĂ© thread Lyr Req: Constant Lovers (A Sailor Courted…).