The Spanish Lady
Version 2
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

A broadside of this ballad was printed and sold at the Printing-Office in Bow-Church-Yard, London sometime in the period between 1736 and 1763 as The Spanish lady's love to an English sailor. A copy of this can be found at the Bodleian Library. My source took this tune from Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time; A Collection of Ancient Songs, Ballads and Dance Tunes.. with... Notices... from Writers of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries... which was published in 1859.

A ballad by the name of Spanish Lady was registered in England December 14, 1624 with the Stationers' Company. It is possible that tune is related to this tune or one of the variants listed.

Will you hear a Spanish Lady,
How an English man she woo'd.
Tho' he held her as his captive,
Ever gentle was his mood.
Tho' by birth and parentage of high degree
Much she wept when orders came to set her free.

"Gallant captain, shew some mercy
To a lady in distress,
Leave me not within this city,
I shall die of heaviness;
'Tis an empty mockery to set me free
While my heart in prison still remains with thee.

"It would be a shame, fair lady,
Should I bear a woman hence,
English soldiers never carry
Any such without offense."
"O, I'll quickly change myself, if so it be,
Like a page, whee'er thou go'st I'll follow thee.

"On the seas are many dangers,
Many tempests there arise,
Which to ladies will be dreadful,
Drawing tears from gentle eyes."
"well in troth, will I endure extremitie,
I could find in heart to lose my life for thee."

"Courteous lady, cease to tempt me,
let us end this gentle strife,
I in England have already,
A sweet woman to be my wife."
"Then within a nunnery immur'd I'll be.
Daily pray'rs I'll offer for thy love and thee.

Fare-thee-well, thou gallant captain,
Bear they love this chain of gold,
Tho' I doated on thee fondly,
Count not Spanish ladies bold;
Joy and true prosperity still go with thee."
"May they ever be thy lot, thou fair ladie.
  • Related songs at this site:

  • From Songs from a Colonial Tavern
    See Bibliography for full information.