The Maid on the Shore

from by Lindsay Straw

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $1 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD comes in a 3-panel foldable case, with artwork by Amandine Comte (L'art Comme Unique) and design by Colleen Raney (Salt Design).

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Fairest Flower of Womankind via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $15 USD or more 

     

about

There are many versions of this song all over Ireland and Great Britain, but it's Frankie Armstrong's version on her album Lovely on the Water, with its ambiguous tonal center, which caught my ear. Some versions of the tale present her as more of a siren, deliberately tempting these men to their fate. But whether you see her as supernatural or as a mere mortal using her unusually good singing skills to get out of a tough spot, it's hard not to cheer for her in the end.

lyrics

Well, it’s of a sea captain who sailed on the salt sea,
And the moon it shone gentle and clear, oh.
“I’ll die, I’ll die,” this captain did cry,
“If I can’t have that maid who walks on the shore,
If I can’t have that maid on the shore.”

“Well, it’s I have got silver and I have got gold,
And plenty of costly fine ware, oh.
And I’ll give half to you, all my gallant young crew,
If you fetch me that girl who walks on the shore,
If you fetch me that maid on the shore.”

So the sailors they got them a very long boat,
And straight for the shore they did steer, oh.
Saying, “Ma’am, if you please, won’t you enter on board,
To view a fine cargo of costly ware,
To view a fine cargo of ware.”

With much persuading, they got her on board,
And the moon it shone gentle and clear, oh.
She sat herself down at the stern of the boat,
And back for the ship, the young sailors did steer,
And back for the ship they did steer.

And when they a-rowed alongside of the ship,
The captain he spat out his chew, oh.
Saying, “First you will lie in my arms all this night,
And then I’ll give you to my jolly young crew,
Then I’ll give you to my crew.”

“Oh, thank you, oh, thank you, this young maid,” she cried,
“That’s just what I’ve been waiting for, oh.
For I’ve grown so weary of my maidenhead,
As I walked all alone on my rocky old shore,
And walked all alone on my shore.”

So she sat herself down in the stern of the ship,
And the moon it shone gentle and clear.
She sang so sweet, so neat and complete,
She sang sailors and captain right fast to sleep,
She sang sailors and captain asleep.

Then she robbed him of silver, she robbed him of gold;
She plundered that costly fine ware, oh.
The captains broadsword she’s took for an oar,
And she’s paddled right back to her rocky old shore,
Yes, she’s paddled right back to the shore.

“Oh, were my men drunk, or were my men mad?
Or were they sunk deep in despair, oh?
That they let her away with her beauty so gay?”
How the sailors all wished that that sweet maid was there,
How the sailors all wished she was there.

“No, your men they weren’t drunk,
and your men they weren’t mad,
And neither sunk deep in despair.
But I deluded your crew and likewise yourself, too, captain;
Now I’m a maid on my rocky old shore,
I’m a maiden once more on the shore.”

credits

from The Fairest Flower of Womankind, released April 28, 2017
Guitar & Vocals: Lindsay Straw

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Lindsay Straw Boston, Massachusetts

Boston-based traditional folk singer, guitarist & bouzouki player.

"Hearken(s) back to more innocent times, of Greenwich Village and pure folk." - The Living Tradition

contact / help

Contact Lindsay Straw

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code