The Claudy Banks

While were on the subject of various banks, here’s an English ballad performed by Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson, and Martin Carthy.

The Claudy Banks

As I rode out one evening all in the month of May
Down by the banks of Claudy I carelessly did stray
There I beheld a fair maid in sorrow did complain
Lamenting of her own true love who had crossed the raging main

Ey-oh ey-oh he is my darling boy
He is the darling of my heart
All on the walls of Troy

I stepped up unto her and caught her in great surprise
I own she did not know me for I was in disguise
I said My pretty fair maid my joy and heart’s delight
How far do you mean to wander on this dark and dreary night

Oh the banks of Claudy I wish you would me show
Take on a fair young maid who has nowhere else to go
For I’m in search of a young man young Johnny it is his name
And on the banks of Claudy I hear he does remain

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The Bay of Biscay

Sean Cannon sings the gentle ghost song, The Bay of Biscay. There is also a delightful version on Karan Casey and John Doyle’s album Exiles Return.

The Bay of Biscay

“My William sails on board the tender
And where he is I do not know.
For seven long years I’ve been constantly waiting
Since he crossed the Bay of Biscay-o.”

One night as Mary lay a-sleeping,
A knock came to her bedroom door,
Saying, “Arise, arise, my dearest Mary,
For to gain one glance of your William-o.”

Young Mary rose, put on her clothing,
Unto her bedroom door did go
And there she spied her William standing,
His two pale cheeks as white as snow.

“Oh Willy dear, where are those blushes,
Those blushes I knew long years ago?”
“Oh Mary dear, the cold clay has them
I am only the ghost of your William-o.”

“Oh Mary dear, the dawn is breaking.
The time has come for me to go
I am leaving you quite broken-hearted
For to cross the Bay of Biscay-o.”

“If I had all the gold and silver
And all the money in Mexico,
I would grant it all to the King of Erin
To bring me back my William-o.”