Another popular song that came from our maritime history was a sentimental ballad called the ‘Sailor’s Lament’ which is also sometimes known as ‘The Maiden’s Prayer’. Mr V J Williams of Dora Creek says he leant the song in 1947 while serving in the RAN. It is an important find for my quest because previously collected versions never had the ‘sailor’ reference verse.
The Sailor’s Lament
A man came to his home one night,
To find his house without a light,
He went upstairs to go to bed,
When this thought came into his head.
He went up to his daughter’s room,
There he found her hanging from a beam,
He took a knife and he cut her down,
And on her breast this note he found.
My love is for a sailor boy,
Who sails far out upon the sea,
I often write and think of him,
He never writes or thinks of me.
My apron strings they used to meet,
I used to tie them in a bow,
But now my apron strings won’t meet,
Around my waist they will not go.
Oh father I cannot stand the shame,
To bear this child without a name,
So dig my grave both wide and deep,
And place white lilies at my feet.
They dug her grave both wide and deep,
And placed white lilies at her head and feet,
And on her breast they placed a dove,
To signify she dies for love.
So all ye maidens bear in mind,
A sailor’s love is hard to find,
And if you find one good and true,
Don’t change the old love for a new.