I'll build myself a gallant ship,
A ship of noble fame;
And four and twenty mariners,
Shall box and man the same;
And I will stand with helm in hand,
To urge them oe'r the main.
No scarf shall o'er my shoulders go,
I wil not comb my hair;
The pale moonlight, the candle bright
Shall neither tell I'm fair.
Beside the mast I stand so fast,
Unresting in despair.
The rain may beat, and round my feet
The waters wash and foam,
O thou North wind lag not behind
But bear me far from home!
My hands I wring, and sobbing sing,
As over seas I roam.
The moon so pale shall light my sail,
As o'er the sea I fly,
To where afar the Eastern star
Is twinkling in the sky.
I would I were with my love fair,
E'er ever my love die!
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Songs Of The West by S Baring-Gould
Baring Gould notes:
The words are a cento from a long ballad. The complete song was taken down by J. Watts, quarryman, Thrushleton. The entire ballad is in Logan's "Pedlar's Pack." p23. There are several Broadside versions. A Scottish version in Herd, "Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs," 1776, ii p2. The air to which this is sung in Scotland is that to which Burns composed " Of a' the airts the wind can blaw." Joyce gives an Irish version in his "Ancient Irish Music," No 68. Besides Watts ballad, we had the fragment we give to the same air from Richard Cleave, since dead, at the "Forest Inn," Huckaby Bridge. Never shall I forget the occasion. Mr Bussell and I drove across Dartmoor in winter in a furious gale of wind and rain to Huckaby in quest of an old man who, we had been informed was a singer. We found the fellow, but he yielded nothing, and our long journey would have been fruitless, had we not caught Richard Cleave and obtained from him this air, which drive cost me a bronchitis attack that held me a prisoner for six weeks.
The song is given under the title "Lowlands of Holland," in The Folk Song Journal, vol i p97, as taken down in Sussex.
I notice we already have an entry for "Lowlands Of Holland" but only one verse is duplicated and the tunes are different.
Roud: 484 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: The Low, Low Lands of Holland [Lowlands of Holland] (thematic)