O, once I was a waterman
And lived at home at ease,
And now I am a mariner
And plough the angry seas.
I thought I'd like seafaring life,
So bid my love adieu,
And shipp'd as cook and steward boys,
On board the Kangaroo.
My love she was no foolish girl,
Her age it was two score,
My love was not a spinster,
She'd been married twice before;
And they could not say it was her wealth
That stole my heart away.
For she was a laundry starcher
At three-and-six a day.
Oh think of me! Oh think of me!
She mournfully did say,
When you are in a foreign land,
Three thousand miles away;
And take this lucky farthing,
'Twill make you bear in mind
The loving, faithful, trusting heart
You leave in tears behind.
Cheer up! Mheer up! my own true love,
Don't weep so bitterly,
But she sobbed and sighed and choked
And cried and couldn't say goodbye.
I won't be gone so very long,
Maybe a month or two,
And when I do come back again,
Of course I'll marry you.
Our vessel it was homeward bound
From many a foreign shore.
And many a foreign present
Unto my love I bore;
There were tortoises from Teneriffe
And toys from Timbuctoo,
A Chinese rat and a Bengal cat
And a Bombay cockatoo.
Paid off, I sought her dwelling
In the suburbs of the town,
An ancient dame upon a line
Was hanging out a gown.
Where is my love? She's married, sir,
About six months ago,
To a man who drives a hardware van
For Johnny Fox and Co.
Farewell to Dixon's soap suds
From the famous brand called Crown,
To Reckitt's Blue, well known to you,
And Crean's Scouring Brown;
I'll seek some far and distant clime,
I can no longer stay,
For my heart is now so shattered
I must live on China tay.