As I walked through Bristol City, I heard a fair maid sing,
In behalf of her sailor, her country and her king;
And oh, she sang so sweetly, and so sweetly sang she
"Oh! of all the sorts of a Colin, why a sailor for me!"
"You may know my jolly sailor, wheresomede'er he does rove,
He's so neat in his behaviour, and so true to his love;
His teeth are white as ivory, his cheeks like the damask rose,
So you may know my jolly sailor, wheresomede'er he goes.
"For your sailors are men of honour, and men of courage bold,
If they go to fight their enemies they are not to be controuled;
If they get on board a man of war where the thundering cannons roar,
They venture their lives for gold, and spend it freely on shore."
"Come, come, my pretty Polly, come sit theee down by me,
For now my pretty Molly, you and I will agree;
For my Molly is an angel, all dressed in willow green,
And she be like any lady, or a beautiful queen.
"Pretty Poll has got a colour like the roses in June,
And she plays upon the hipsicols a melodious fine tune;
Her lips are red as rubies, her eyes as black as sloes,
So you may know my pretty Polly wheresomede'er she goes.
"I'll build my love a castle on yonder high ground,
Where no lord nor yet a monarch can e'er pull it down;
For the King he can but love his Queen, and my dear I can do the same;
And you shall be my shepherdess, and I'll be your swain."
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
From "A Favourite Ballad, sung by Mr Huttley, at the Convivial Societys of Bath and Bristol." Printed by Preston and Sons, London.
No excuse need be given for including this pretty tune, though the song is, strictly speaking, outside the scope of the collection, since it is not in any sense traditional.
Roud: 1087 (Search Roud index at VWML)