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Richard Mellish Origins: The Smuggler's Boy (8) RE: Origins: The Smuggler's Boy 10 Jun 20


OK, here's how I sing it. I got it from Bob Roberts but may well have folk-processed it somewhat over the last 50-odd years. I call it "Smuggler's Son".

(This is copied and pasted from the words posted by Joe with only very few changes.)

On one cloudy morning abroad I did roam,
Where the sea breaks white on the beaches with foam.
When I heard a poor boy who in sorrow did weep,
Crying, "Alas my poor father lies there in the deep."

"My father and mother so happy did dwell
In a trim little cottage by the River Orwell,
But my father would venture out on the salt sea
For a keg of good brandy from the land of the free."

"From Holland we steered but the tempest did roar,
And the lightning flashed round us when far from the shore.
The mast and the rigging were thrown to the wave,
And with them went father to a watery grave."

"So I jumped overboard in the wild raging main,
To save my poor father, but all was in vain.
I clasped his cold form but quite lifeless was he,
And swept from my arms he sank down in the sea."

"So I clung to a plank and was soon washed ashore,
With the sad news to tell them that he was no more.
When she heard it poor mother of grief she did die,
And all alone left me, so pity poor I."

"But a lady of fortune she heard me complain,
And she gave me shelter from wind and from rain.
She said "I've no child for all that I've tried,
So this poor smuggler boy in my bosom shall bide."

I think it is this song of which I've heard Sam Lee sing a substantially different version; possibly one of the travellers' versions.


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