The London Waterman / Constant Billy

from by Phil Edwards

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lyrics

Did you ever hear tell of the young London waterman
Who from Blackfriars did regular ply?
He feathered his oars with such skill and dexterity
Pleasing each maid and delighting each eye.

And he sang so sweet, he sang so merry,
The couples all jostled to hire his wherry,
And be became known as the true lovers' ferry,
But he could not find a true love of his own.

Till there come a young goose girl from Stratford St Mary
And she wanted taking to Farringdon Fair,
But she had not the ha'penny to pay for a wherry
And she sat on the steps in her pretty despair.

But she sang so sweet, she sang so merry,
He put her and all of her geese in his wherry,
And her pretty face was the fare for the ferry
As he rowed her over to Farringdon Fair.

They was married next May time in Stratford St Mary;
And now they have waterman one, two, three, four.
They feather their oars with such skill and dexterity,
Taking the people from shore to shore.

And they sing so sweet, they sing so merry
The people all jostle to hire their wherry,
And everyone goes by the Blackfriars ferry
While he stays at home with a love of his own.

credits

from 52 Folk Songs: Violet, released October 7, 2011

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Phil Edwards Manchester, UK

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