21 - Early, early in the spring / The single sailor

Words by Traditional
Tune by Traditional

A ballad telling of a sailor's sweetheart who marries a rich man.

It was early, early all in a spring
I went on board for to serve the king,
I’d left my dearest dearie behind,
That often told me her heart was mine.

I dreamt last night I was in my love’s arms,
And that she gave me ten thousand charms,
Ten thousand charms and kisses sweet.
We were to be married next time we’d meet.

When I was sailing on the salt sea,
Still looking for an opportunity,
I, too, sent letters for my dear,
But one answer from her I’d ne’er could hear.

“Ah, you sent letters all over the town.
I avow and swear that I ne’er got one.
'Twas my father’s fault, love, and none of mine.
You need not speak hard of womankind.”

I went down into her father’s hall.
On my true love loudly I did call.
Her father answered, made this reply,
“Your true love, young man, I must deny.”

“Come tell me quickly what do you mean?
Come tell me quickly, tell me the truth.”
“She has got married to a rich man for life.
I’d have you to go and choose some other wife.”

Now, my curse on gold and on silver, too.
And to all false lovers that won’t be true,
To all false lovers that would vows make
And marry others for riches’ sake.

Now, since all bad fortune has on me frowned,
Since all bad fortune has on me frowned,
I will sail the seas to the day I die
And I’ll topple those waves that roll mountains high.