The banks of Claudy, song

Jimmy Houten, singing in English
© Item in copyright  (contact for information on re-use)
Downloads: PDF |  Metadata (Dublin Core)

Lyrics

As I roved out one evening all in the month of May
Down by yon flowery garden ‘tis careless I did stray
I overheard a fair maid in sorrow did complain
All for her absent lover young Johnny was his name.

I gently stepped up to her I took her by surprise
Although she did not know me for I being in disguise
Says I my fair and pretty maid my joy and heart’s delight
How far do you mean to wander this dark and dreary night.

Kind sir the road to Claudy would you be pleased to show
Take pity on a poor distressed for it’s there I mean to go
In search of a faithless young man young Johnny is his name
And on the banks of Claudy I’m told he does remain.

Well on the banks of Claudy fair maid on which you stand
But don’t depend on Johnny for he’s a false young man
Now don’t depend on Johnny for he won’t meet you here
Come tarry unto the green woodside no danger need you fear.

If Johnny he was here this night he’d keep me from all harm
He’s in the field of battle all in his uniform
He’s in the field of battle his foes for to destroy
He’s a roving king of honour he is at the wars of Troy.

It is ten weeks or better since Johnny left the shore
He crossed through the main ocean where lofty billows roar
He crossed through the main ocean for honour and for fame
His ship was wrecked as I’ve been told all off the coast of Spain.

It’s when she heard this dreadful news she fell into despair
The wringing of her snowy-white hands and the tearing of her hair
If that be true my young man no other one I’ll take
Through shady groves and valleys I will wander for his sake.

It’s when he saw her loyalty he could no longer stand
He fell into her arms saying Bessie I’m the man
Saying Bessie I’m the young man  the cause of all your pain
And since we met on Claudy’s banks we will never part again.

see also   The banks of Claudy / Maggie McGee