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Bye-Bye My Roseanna

[ Roud 12380 ; Ballad Index GaBl099 ; trad.]

The Bright Light Quartet from Weema, Virginia, sang Sweet Roseanne to Alan Lomax on April 6, 1960. This recording was included in 1997 on his Rounder anthology Southern Journey, Vol. 1: Voices from the American South.

Elizabeth LaPrelle sang Sweet Roseanne on her 2007 album Lizard in the Spring, referring in the liner notes to Alan Lomax's recording of the Bright Light Quartet.

David Milton sang Bye-Bye My Roseanna on his 2018 CD Songs from the Bell Man. He noted:

This is a blending of the Scandinavian and Mississippi versions of this song that I've heard. It's easy to forget how much of the world sailors would have seen. We always sing this at the end of our shanty night—we can make it as long or as short as we like. It's a beautiful way to end an evening and leave everyone with a spring in their step.

Lyrics

David Milton sings Bye-Bye My Roseanna

The boats are sailin' round the bay,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
All loaded down with fishermen,
I won't be home tomorrow.

Chorus (after each verse):
Bye-bye bye-bye, bye-bye bye-bye,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
Bye-bye bye-bye, bye-bye bye-bye,
i won't be home tomorrow.

A sailor's pay's a dollar a day,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
It's easy come easy slip away,
I won't be home tomorrow.

Around the horn we must go,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
The gales are strong and the winds do blow,
I won't be home tomorrow.

We're sailing west across the dsea,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
We won't be back for many's the day,
I won't be home tomorrow.

Oh Roseanne, sweet Roseanne,
I want to be your lover.
Oh Roseanne, my sweet Roseanne,
I hope there is no other.

Oh Roseanne, my sweet Roseanne,
Bye-bye my Roseanna.
Oh Roseanne, sweet Roseanne,
I won't be home tomorrow.
I won't be home tomorrow.