48 - Maid on the Shore

Words by Traditional
Tune by Traditional

Also known as The Mermaid, this ballad hints that the cunning maid on the shore might be a mermaid or siren, luring men to their doom with her sweet voice. We've picked bits and pieces from the many versions of the lyrics.

There was a fair maid and she lived all alone
She lived all alone on the shore-o
No one could she find for to calm her sweet mind
As she walked all alone on the shore, shore, shore
As she walked all alone on the shore

There was a brave captain who sailed a fine ship
Let the wind blow high blow low-o
“I shall die, I shall die”, this young captain did cry
"If I can’t have that maid on the shore, shore, shore
If I can’t have that maid on the shore"

After many persuasions they brought her on board
Let the wind blow high blow low-o
He invited her down to his cabin below
Farewell to all sorrow and care-o
Farewell to all sorrow and care

“Oh thank you, oh thank you,” this young girl she cried,
“It’s just what I’ve been waiting for-o
For I’ve grown so weary of my maidenhead
As I walked all alone on the shore, shore, shore
As I walked all alone on the shore.”

“I’ll sing you a song”, this fair maid did cry
This captain was weeping for joy-o
She sang it so sweetly, so soft and completely
She sang captain and sailors to sleep-o
She sang captain and sailors to sleep

She robbed them of silver, she robbed them of gold
She robbed them of costly fine fare-o
The captain’s own sword she used as an oar
She rowed her way back to the shore, shore, shore
She rowed her way back to the shore

Oh the captain was mad and the men, they were sad
They were deeply sunk down in despair-o
To see her away with her booty so gay
For to roam once again on the shore, shore, shore
For to roam once again on the shore

"Now you must be mad and your men must be sad,
Oh your men must be deep in despair-o
I sang you to sleep and I robbed you of wealth
Once again I’m a maid on the shore, shore, shore
Once again I’m a maid on the shore."