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The Maid on the Shore

Pat Bondy

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I wanted to record a version of this lovely traditional East Coast Canada / USA tune. It’s been done many times, in different ways, with variations on the lyrics. I’ve leaned on Solas’s and Stan Rogers’s versions, and added a verse of my own. I recorded many takes on many instruments, and kept the parts I liked best; I think the result is nice enough to share.

Lyrics:
Now there was a fair maiden who lived all alone,
She lived all alone on the shore-o.
There was nought she could find for to comfort her mind
But to walk all alone on the shore, shore, shore,
So she walked all alone on the shore.

And there was a brave captain who sailed a fine ship,
Let the wind blow high, blow low.
“I shall die! I shall die!” the young captain did cry,
“If I can’t woo that maid on the shore, on the shore,
I must go to that maid on the shore.”

“Well it’s gold for each man who rows me to shore!”
Oh the wind blew high and blew lo-ow
So ’twas into the longboat, through rocks and through waves
They rowed with him safely to shore, to shore
They came to that maid on the shore

After many persuasions he brought her on board,
He promised her costly fine fare-o.
He invited her down to his cabin below.
Farewell to all sorrow and care-o,
Farewell to all sorrow and care.

“I will sing you a song,” this young maiden did cry,
Oh the captain was weeping with joy-o.
She sang to them softly, so sweet and completely,
She sang sailors and captain to sleep-o,
Sailors and captain to sleep.

Then she robbed them of silver, she robbed them of gold,
She robbed them of fine costly fare-o.
The captain’s broadsword she took for an oar
And she rowed her way back to the shore, shore, shore,
She rowed her way back to the shore.

The captain was mad and the captain was sad,
The captain was deep in despair, oh
As she rowed away, with her booty so gay
And her rings and her things and her fine fare-o,
Her rings and her things and her fine fare-o

“Oh don’t be so sad, no, don’t you be mad
And don’t be sunk down in despair-o,
I sang you to sleep and I’ve taken your wealth
And again I’m a maid on the shore, shore, shore,
Again I’m a maid on the shore.”

Pat Bondy's avatar
Pat Bondy said

Thanks, Wayne! Have you recorded your version? I'd love to hear it.

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Wayne Webster said

Great version! Always loved this song. I sing a musically quite different version, but I think I like your rendition better, Pat!

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