> Folk Music > Songs > Banks of the Clyde

Banks of the Clyde

[ Roud 3815 ; Henry H812 ; Ballad Index HHH812 ; Bodleian Roud 3815 ; Mudcat 83006 ; trad.]

Niamh Parsons sang Banks of the Clyde in 2002 on her Green Linnet album Heart’s Desire. She noted:

My good friend Anne (Kelly) Skelton gave me this version from Rita Gallagher, Co. Donegal, while we were on a visit with her and her husband Joe in Barna, Co. Galway. I also found another version sung by Rosy Stewart, Co. Fermanagh on her CD Adieu to Lovely Garrison.


Niamh Parsons sings Banks of the Clyde

As I went out a-walking one pleasant summer’s evening
Down by the banks of a dear winding stream,
In ambush I lay as two lovers were talking
And clearly the streams they did gently play.
A young sailor standing by he appeared as a stranger
And he said, “Gentle fair one have come from afar,
So do not be offended nor consider it a danger
For to walk by the side of a jolly young tar.”

“Well indeed then kind sir, ’tis the truth I will tell you,
For the clothes that you wear they are dear to my heart,
They are like my young William’s whom I love so dearly
Who’s now crossing die ocean to some foreign part.
And what if your William whom you love so dearly
Is now joined in wedlock in some foreign part?
Well if that be the case then you have lost him forever
So give to me your hand, love, and say you’ll be mine.”

“I pray you’ll excuse me for I must retire
And in this green shade I will bid you adieu.
’Tis a humble request that you seem to desire
But my favour, kind sir, to another is due.
Should flowers decay in the cold stormy weather
Yet spring’s gentle breezes they will then renew.
This heart from my true love no other will sever,
So fare thee well young man I’ll hid you adieu.

“And since that sad fortune has now separated
Right constant I’ll prove should I ne’er see him more.
Whilst yonder green hills are with flowers decorated,
For my own dearest William I’ll always adore.”
Well he paused and he gazed with his eyes full of pleasure,
In his former disguise he could no longer hide.
’Til at length he explained with full joy being the measure,
“Is this my love Jane I have left on the tide?

“Well ’tis Jane, look at me for you seem not to know me.”
When out of his pocket a small bill he drew,
Saying, “Here’s fifty pounds as a token I give you,
Since you in my absence have proved loyal and true.
And since that kind fortune has brought us together
’Tis tomorrow darling I will make you my bride.
And you and I true love will never be parted;
I will wed my Jane on the Banks of the Clyde.”