In Bristol there lived a Fair Damsel

On Autumn Harvest AH 004
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads - Some Rants o Fun

Anita Best sings:

Anita learnt this song from her cousin Lily in her younger days at home in one of the fishing outports of Newfoundland - on Merasheen island in Placentia Bay. It is a rare traditional song (Roud 916) which probably has its origin in England in the early 1800s with versions also known from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Gloucestershire and from Ireland.

1: In Bristol there lived a fair damsel,
And she being a beauty most bright;
A sailor he loved her fond company,
Far dearer than he loved his own life.

2: Now when her old father he heard it,
Unto his fair daughter did say,
"I'll send you straight way to the country,
And I'll send your fond sailor to sea."

3: The bosun's loud whistle was sounding,
Causing Thomas and Nancy to part;
She fell on the beach broken hearted,
While the tears from her blue eyes did start.

4: Thomas pressed this fair maid to his bosom,
While the tears down her face fast they fell;
He kissed her pale lips and they parted,
And he bid her a loving farewell.

5: Now his boat reached the port and returning,
Like a seabird she danced o'er the foam;
While Thomas lay on his soft pillow,
Dreamt of Nancy, his parents and home.

6: There was lightning and loud claps of thunder,
There was lightning flashed over the main;
A rock split our good ship asunder,
And the crew met a watery grave.

7: To the beach, to the beach Nancy oft had visited,
She beheld a most terrible sight;
'Twas the corpse of her Thomas they carried,
To the place where they oft time had played.

8: Next day there were two loyal lovyers,
And they both were cut down in their bloom;
It was said that they loved one another,
They were both buried into one tomb.

c p 2007 Autumn Harvest AH004