Fair Susan
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This ballad was printed in England on numerous broadsides in the 1820s. Copies of many of these can be found at the Broadside Ballads Online. This version was collected by H.E. D. Hammond in Dorset and printed in 1908. Fair Susan I left with my heart full of woe;
I was going my fortune to mend.
And on her soft bosom fell many a tear,
When she parted from her true loving friend.

Farewell! Jack she cried, and she bade me adieu,
And the tears from her eyes they did flow.
From her I did strain with my heart full of pain,
For to join with some Jovial ship's crew.

The wind did blow hard, and the high seas did roar,
Whilst blue lightning around us did fly,
And I thought on my Susan whom I'd left on shore
All alone and in sorrow to cry.

Our ship sprang a leak, and 'twas all hands on deck
Ev'ry man his own life for to save.
I swam on a plank, and got safe from the wreck,
Whilst the rest met a watery grave.

Now, since this good fortune had sav-ed my life,
I took thought to my Susan to go;
I thought for to make her my own lawful wife,
But my Joy was all turn-ed to woe.

Long years did pass by, and my Susan had wed,
Ere some ship to my rescue came nigh.
Oh! afar I will roam, till I'm laid with the dead;
I care nought where my poor body do lie.

Related Links
From English County Songs
See Bibliography for full information.
Also from Steve Roud's Broadside Ballad Index.