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The very day I married,
That night I lay on my bed;
A press-gang came to my bed-side
These words to me they said:
Arise, arise, arise young man,
And come along with me, with me,
To the low, low lands of Holland
To face your enemy.

But Holland is a cold place
A place where grows no green,
And Holland is a cold place
For my love to wander in.
Though money had been as plentiful
As leaves upon the tree, the tree,
Yet before I'd time to turn myself
My love was stol'n from me.

I'll build my love a gallant ship
A ship of noted fame,
With four and twenty mariners
To box her on the main.
They'll rant and roar in sparkling glee
Wheresomever they do go, do go,
To the low, low lands of Holland,
To face the daring foe.

Says the mother to the daughter:
What makes you to lament?
O there are lords and dukes and squires
Can ease your hearts content.
But never will I married be
Until the day I die, I die,
Since the low, low lands of Holland
Have parted my love and me.

There's not a swaithe goes round my waist,
Nor a comb goes in my hair,
Neither firelight nor candlelight
Can ease my heart's despair
And never will I married be
Until the day I die, I die
Since the low, low lands of Holland
Have parted my love and me.

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Source: Sharp, C (ed),1916,One Hundred English Folksongs,Boston,Oliver Ditson Co

Cecil Sharp's notes Follow:

One of the earliest copies of this ballad is printed in Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (volume ii, p. 2, ed. 1776). It is also in the Roxburghe and Ebsworth Collections and in Johnson's Museum. The ballad appears also in Garlands, printed about 1760, as "The Sorrowful Lover's Regrate" and "The Maid's Lamentation for the Loss of her True Love," as well as on broadsides of more recent date. See also the Pedlar's Pack of Ballads(PP. 23-25); the Journal of the Folk-Song Society(volume i, P. 97; volume iii, P. 307); and Dr. Joyce's Ancient Irish Music (No. 68).
The "vow" verse occurs in "Bonny Bee Horn," a well-known Scottish ballad (Child, No. 92). The words in the text are virtually as I took them down from the singer. The tune is partly Mixolydian. The word "box" in the third stanza is used in the old sense, that is "to hurry."

Roud: 484 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  I'll Build Myself A Gallant Ship (thematic)

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