A sailor's life, it is a merry life
He robs young girls of their heart's 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 withal
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 inquire for my sailor boy"
They had not sailed long upon 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 sailing boy"
Well, she rung 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