A sailor's life, it is a merry life.
He robs young girls of their hearts' delight,
Leaving them behind to weep and mourn,
They never know when they will return.
Well, there's four and twenty all in a row
My true love he makes the finest show.
He's proper tall, genteel and all,
And if I don't have him, I'll have none at all.
Oh father, build for me a bonny boat,
That on the wide ocean I may float
And every Queen's ship that we pass by,
There I'll enquire for my sailor boy
They had not sailed long on the deep
When a Queen's ship they chanced to meet.
"You sailors all, pray tell me true,
Does my sweet William sail among your crew?"
"Oh no, fair maiden, he is not here
For he's been drownded we greatly fear
On yon green island as we passed it by,
There we lost sight of your sailor boy."
Well, she wrung her hands and she tore her hair.
She was like a young girl in great despair.
And her little boat against a rock did run.
"How can I live now my sweet William is gone?"