Welcome Sailor

Can be found in Sea Songs and Ballads selected by Christopher Stone (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906) on page 176 and has been recorded by The Watersons.

Welcome Sailor


All in the dead of the night,
Darkness being over,
The moon did give no light
No one could discover.

Down by a river side
Where ships were a-sailing,
A lovely lass I spied
Weeping and a-wailing.


And I boldly stepped up to her,
Asking what grieved her.
The answer that she gave
Was no one could relieve her.

They pressed my love, cried she,
To cross the wide ocean.
And my heart is like the sea
Always in motion.”


Mark well, my love, cried he,
Mark well my story.
‘Twas your true lover and I
Fought for old England's glory”

But by a fatal shot
We both were parted.
Deep was the wound he got,
Though he died valiant hearted.


And he told me before he died
His heart was broken.
Take this gold ring, said he,
Take it as a token.

Take this ring to my love,
There is no one fairer.
Tell her to be kind
And to love the bearer.


She wrung her hands and cried

And flew up in great anger

Be gone young man, she cried

For I'll wed no stranger.

He flew into her arms

He could stay no longer

I am your own true love

I'll deceive no further


God less the ship she cried 

That brought you safely homeward

God bless the wind she cried 

That carried you safely over

Then they both sat down and sang

But his love sang the clearest

Like a nightingale in spring

Saying, welcome home my dearest