Lovely Molly
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Barry Taylor

This is a Canadian variant of Farewell, Nancy. Helen Creighton collected this song and it is in her book Maritime Folk Songs. The ballad is also in Malcolm Laws' American Balladry From British Broadsides as Farewell, Charming Nancy.

Farewell, Nancy appeared in Patrick Weston Joyce's Ancient Irish Music (1873 and 1888). According to the Ballad Index, it was printed on broadsides as early as 1855.

Fare you well, lovely Molly, I am going to leave you
And to the East Indies my course I will steer
Don't let my long absence be a bother to you, dear
For we will be married, you need never fear.

Like some jolly little seaman I'll dress and go with you
And in the midst of all danger I'll stand as your friend
Those cold wintry winds, love, around you be blowing
And I will be there for to wait on you then.

Those pretty little hands, love, could not stand a
      rough tackling
Those pretty little feet to the top could not go
Those cold wintry winds you could not endure them
So stay at home, darling, to the seas do not go.

Those two lovers parted, they had kissed plenty
The tears from her eyes down in fountains did pour
Her lily-white hands on the deck she kept wringing
Saying, "Fare you well, darling, I'll never see you more."

As I was walking the streets of Philadelphia
Strangee thoughts of my darling came into my mind
I thought on the days, love, that we spent in courting
But the salt seas have parted us now for a time.

Don't let my long absence be a bother to you, dear
Don't let my long journey cause you any pain
Although we are parted I will be true hearted
And I will return in the springtime again.

  • Other versions at this site:
  • Related songs at this site (Women who dress up as men to follow lovers):
  • Related Links
    Music from Barry Taylor
    Information From American Balladry from British Broadsides
    See Bibliography for full information.
    Also from Steve Roud's Folksong Index.