by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

The Jolly Young Waterman
Language: English 
And did you not hear of a jolly young waterman,
Who at Blackfriars bridge once used to ply,
And he feather'd his oars with such skill and dexterity,
Winning each heart and delighting each eye.
He look'd so neat, and rowed so steadily,
The maidens all flock'd in his boat so readily;
He eyed the young rogues with so charming an air
That this waterman ne'er was in want of a fare.

What sights of fine folks he oft row'd in his wherry,
'Twas cleaned out so nice, and so painted withal;
He was always first oars when the fine city ladies
In a party to Ranelagh went, or Vauxhall.
And oft-times would they be giggling and leering;
But 'twas all one to Tom, their gibing and jeering;
For loving or liking he little did care,
For this waterman ne'er was in want of a fare.

And yet, but to see how strangely things do happen,
As he row'd along thinking of nothing at all.
He was ply'd by a damsel so lovely and charming,
That she smil'd, and so straightway in love he did fall.
And would this young damsel but banish his sorrow,
he'd wed her tonight, before e'en tomorrow;
And how should this waterman ever know care,
When he's married and never in want of a fare.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Don Taylor

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 220