North Ryde NSW
July 2000.



Mr Cavanagh contacted me after I had made an appeal in the Australian Maritime Museum magazine ‘Ahoy!’ and sent me this song which he had been singing ever since he was a young lad in the Navy. He said he “came home from the club, after reading my article ‘Where are all the maritime Songs?’ and sat down at the kitchen table until he could recall all the words.

The Maiden’s Prayer

– maritime version

She was a maiden young and fair
And came from high society
He was a mallot brass and bold
Who took this girls virginity

Her father came home late one night
And found the house without a light
He went upstairs to his daughter’s room
And found her hanging from a beam
He took his knife and cut her down
And on her breast this note he found

My love was for a sailor boy
Who sailed across the big blue sea
I often wrote and thought f him
He never wrote or thought of me

Oh Dad I cannot stand the pain
To bear this child without a name
So dig my grave and dig it deep
And place white lilies at my feet

They dug her grave and dug it deep
And placed white lilies at her feet
And on her breast they placed a dove
To show that she had died for love

Now all you maidens bear in mind
A sailor’s love is hard to find
But when you find one good and true
Don’t change the old one for the new

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