One night as I lay on my bed,
I lay so fast asleep,
When the thought of my true love came running to my head
And poor sailors that sail on the deep.
As I sailed out one day, one day,
And being not far from land,
And there I spied a mermaid a-sitting on a rock
With a comb and a glass in her hand.
The song she sang, she sang so sweet,
But no answer at all could us make,
Till at last our gallant ship she tooked round about
Which made all our poor hearts to ache.
Then up stepped the helmsman of our ship
In his hand a lead and line;
All for to sound the seas, my boys, that is so wide and deep
But to hard rock or sand could he find.
Then up stepped the captain of our ship
And a well-speaking man is he,
He says, " I have a wife, my boys, in fair Plymouth town
But this night a widow she will be. "
Then up stepped the bosun of our ship
And a well-spoken man was he,
He says, "I have two sons, my boys, in fair Bristol town
And orphans I fear they will be.
And then up stepped the little cabin boy
And a pretty boy was he,
He says, "Oh I grieve for my own mother dear
Whom I shall nevermore see. "
"Last night, when the moon shined bright
My mother had sons five,
But now she may look in the salt, salt sea
And find but one alive. "
Call a boat, call a boat, my fair Plymouth boys
Don't you hear how the trumpets sound?
For the want of a long-boat in the ocean we were lost
And most of our merry men drowned.
From Penguin Book of English Folk Songs (Williams and Lloyd)
From singing of James Herridge, 1906
See also mermdfri
Play. Exe mermaid3
Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/lloyd/the_mermaid.html