lyrics text

I'll Go And Enlist For A Sailor


List, oh list, to my sorrowful lay,
Attention give to my song I pray,
And when you've heard it all you'll say
That I'm an unfortunate tailor.
I once was as happy as a bird on a tree,
My Sarah was all in the world to me,
But I'm cut out by a son of the sea,
She has left me here to bewail her.

Oh, why did my Sarah serve me so?
No more will I stitch, no more will I sew,
My thimble and my needle to the winds I'll throw,
And go and enlist for a sailor.

She was the daughter of a publican,
A generous, kind, good sort of a man,
Who spoke very plain what he thought of a man,
But he never looked cross at the tailor.
She was slim and tall as a poplar tree,
As fair as a lily and as brisk as a bee,
And many were the smiles bestowed on she
Oh, why did she forsake the tailor?


Our days were happy, and our nights the same,
Till a man named Cobb from the ocean came,
With a big black beard and a muscular fram—
A captain on board of a whaler.
He spent his money so frank and free,
With his tales of the land and his songs of the sea,
He stole her beating heart from me,
And blighted the hopes of the tailor.


I went to plead, but she did refuse,
She loved another, so I must excuse
Her candour, but it was no use,
She never could marry a tailor!
When telling my love in came that Cobb,
Who cried, "Avast there, you lubberly swab,
If you don't belay I'll scuttle your nob"—
And Sarah smiled at the sailor.


And so I'll cross the raging sea,
Since Sarah is untrue to me;
My heart's locked up and she's the key—
A very unfeeling gaoler.
Farewell, kind friends, a last adieu,
No more my woes shall trouble you;
The world I'll wander through and through—
I'll go and enlist for a sailor.


At a time when joining the navy was a very dangerous career move, the tailor’s decision to join up is almost akin to suicide. No hard handed persuasion from Captain Bover required.

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