A-Roving


COLLECTED FROM GEORGE PATTISON

A-ROVING

Capstan
George Pattison
Cape de Couedie Lighthouse
Kangaroo island
South Australia
4 Dec 1924 (and 1941)

Clive Carey SS400

In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,
Mark well what I do say.
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,
And she was mistress of her trade,
I’ll go no more a –roving with you, fair maid.

A-roving, a-roving, since roving’s been my ru-in-o,
I’ll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.

She’d bright blue eyes and golden hair,
She was a lass so bright and fair,
I’ll go &c

A-roving, a-roving, &c

I met her first when home from sea,
My pockets lined with good monee.

I did tell her stories true,
Of gold I found in Timbuktu

But when we’d spent my blooming screw,
She sailed away and vanished too.

None of these verses appear in Hugill but it wasn’t unusual for singers to improvise this story. My favourite lines of the song run:
The cheeks of her ass wuz tight as a drum,
The lips of her mouth wuz as red as a plum

The original of this often bawdy song can be found in Thomas Heywood’s comedy The Rape of Lucrece (1640) proving this song has a venerable history.