"Adieu, lovely Nancy, for now I must leave you
To the far-off West Indies I'm bound for to steer
But let my long journey be of no trouble to you
For my love, I'll return in the course of a year"
"Talk not of leaving me here, lovely Jimmy
Talk not of leaving me here on the shore
You know very well your long absence will grieve me
As you sail the wild ocean where the wild billows roar
I'll cut off my ringlets all curly and yellow
I'll dress in the coats of a young cabin boy
And when we are out on that dark, rolling ocean
I will always be near you, my pride and my joy"
"Your lily-white hands, they could not handle the cables
Your lily-white feet to the top mast could not go
And the cold winter storms, well, you could not endure them
Stay at home, lovely Nancy, where the the wild winds won't blow"
As Jimmy set a-sailing, lovely Nancy stood a-wailing
The tears from her eyes in great torrents did a-flow
As she stood on the beach, oh her hands she was wringing
Crying, "Oh and alas, will I e'er see you more?"
As Jimmy was a-walking on the quays of Philadelphia
The thoughts of his true love, they filled him with pride
He said, "Nancy, lovely Nancy, if I had you here, love
How happy I'd be for to make you my bride"
So Jimmy wrote a letter to his own lovely Nancy
Saying, "If you have proved constant, well, I will prove true"
Oh but Nancy was dying, for her poor heart was broken
Oh the day that he left her, forever he'd rue
Come all of you young maidens, I pray, take a warning
And don't trust a sailor boy or any of his kind
For first they will court you and then they'll deceive you
For their love, it is tempestuous as the wavering wind