Mudcat Café message #3996018 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166254   Message #3996018
Posted By: Vic Smith
11-Jun-19 - 03:59 PM
Thread Name: Nancy of London (John Faulkner version?)
Subject: ADD version: Pretty Nancy from Yarmouth
I love the version of this song and it's the one that I sing is one I feel closely associated with because it was collected by Ken Stubbs from George Townshend in the Royal Oak in Lewes where we ran a folk club each Thursday for a quarter of a century.
George's version of Pretty Nancy from Yarmouth is in Ken's book The Life of a Man.


Pretty Nancy from Yarmouth, o my joy and delight!
It's of a kind letter I am now going to write;
It is to inform you what we undergo
All on the salt sea, my love, where the stormy winds blow.

'Twas early one evening, just before it grew dark,
Our captain came to us and he showed us a mark;
He showed us a mark, boys, from Zeus in the sky,
He said he was sure there was a storm very nigh.

'Twas early the next morning just before it grew day
Our captain came to us and these words he did say,
“Be all of good heart, boys, be all of good cheer,
For whilst we have sea-roads, brave boys, never fear.”

It's well, my dearest jewel, how we were toss'd about
Like an army of soldiers going forth for to fight.
A soldier may fly to his sword or his gun
But a sailor must submit to his watery tomb.

However I would say that George's version - fine as it is - does not move me as much as the one collected from George Ling and from Fred Ling in East Anglia.