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Oh list, oh list to my sorrowful lay
And attention give to my song I pray
When you have heard it, you will say
There goes an unfortunate tailor

Oh once I was as happy as a bird in a tree
My Sarah was all the world to me
Now I'm cut out by a son of the sea,
And she's left me here to bewail her

Oh why did Sarah serve so?
No more will I stitch, no more will I sew
My thimble and my needle to the winds I'll throw
And I'll go and list for a sailor

Now my days were honey and my nights were the same
Till a man called Cobb from the ocean came
Long grey beard and his mighty frame
Captain on board of a whaler

He spent his money both fast and free,
With his tales of the land and his songs from the sea
And he stole my Sarah's heart from me,
And he left me here to bewail her

Oh, once I was with her when in came Cobb
"Avast" he cried, "You land-lubber swab!
If you don't knock it off, I'll scuttle your knob!"
And Sarah smiled at the sailor

So now I'll cross the raging sea
For Sarah's proved untrue to me
My heart's locked up and she's the key,
Such a very unfeeling gaoler

So now, kind friends, I'll bid you adieu
No more my woes'll trouble you
I'll travel the country through and through
And I'll go and list for a sailor

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Source: Kennedy, D (1987) Martin Carthy: A Guitar in Folk Music. Petersham, New Punchbowl Music

A version of this song - with a significantly different verse order - is in the Gardiner collection, Gardiner H.456/H.935 and was collected from George Lovett, Winchester, Hants August 1906 and from Alfred Oliver, Basingstoke, Hants September 1907

Roud: 1614 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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