The Saucy Sailor

The Canadian “roots” trio The Wailin’ Jennys have included this English folksong on their latest recording 40 Days. According to notes collected on Mainly Norfolk , the song was recording Cecil Sharp’s collection Folksongs of Somerset having learned it off a Mr. Thomas Henry of Ilminster. It’s also found George Butterworth’s addition to the 1907 edition of the Journal of the Folk Song Society, which is where the band Steeleye Span learned it, and their version is likely the source for the Jennys’ interpretation.

The Saucy Sailor

Come my own one, come my fair one
Come now unto me
Could you fancy a poor sailor lad
Who has just come from sea?

You are ragged love, you are dirty love
And your clothes smell much of tar
So be gone you saucy sailor lad
So be gone, you Jack Tar
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