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The Water is Wide (i)

This song dates from the eighteenth century, or even earlier.
Widespread in Britain, and now across the world.
This tune collected by Cecil Sharp.
See also: The Water is Wide (ii) to a tune from Scotland,
and a version of O, Waly, Waly from America.
MIDI


    The water is wide, I cannot get o'er,
    And neither have I wings to fly,
    Bring me a boat that will carry two,
    And I will sail, my love, to you.

    Down in the meadows the other day,
    Gathering flowers, both fine and gay,
    Gathering flowers, both red and blue,
    I little thought what love can do.

    I put my hand into a bush,
    Thinking the sweetest rose to find,
    I pricked my finger to the bone,
    And left the sweetest rose behind.

    A man that climbs where nothing hangs,
    And he who grips where nothing grows,
    And he that loves an unkind maid,
    Against the stream, I'm sure he rows.

    Against the stream, love, I dare not go,
    Because the stream it runs too strong.
    I'm deadly feared I'm one of those
    Who loved an unkind maid too long.

    I leant my back unto an oak,
    I thought he was a trusty tree,
    But first he bowed, and then he broke,
    And so did my true love to me.

    The grass does grow on every lea,
    The leaf does fall from every tree,
    How happy that small bird does cry
    That her true love does by her lie.

    There is a ship that sails the sea,
    She's loaded deep as deep can be,
    But not so deep as the love I'm in,
    I know not if I sink or swim.

    When my love's dead and at her rest,
    I'll think on her whom I love best,
    I'll wrap her in the linen strong,
    And think on her when she's dead and gone.

    I cast my anchor in the sea,
    And it sunk down into the sand.
    So did my heart in my body,
    When I took my false love by the hand.