Jeff - Piano
James - Fiddle
The text here is as published by Frank Purslow in
his book “Foggy Dew,” collected from Mrs. King of
Lyndhurst, Hampshire by Gardiner and then
augmented with a Catnach broadside. However, I
first heard the song from the seminal band “Oak” in
the early 1970s, so I am sure my tune relates more
closely to that. A version also exists in the Copper
Family collection. Cupid's Garden is believed to be
a corruption of Cuper's Garden, a 17th century
Thames-side pleasure garden in London.
'Twas down in Cupid's Garden for pleasure I did go
To view the finest flowers that in the garden grow
The first it was the jas'amin, the lily pink & rose
These are the finest flowers that in the garden grow.
That in the garden grow.
I had not been in the garden but a quarter of an hour
Before I spied 2 damsels sitting in a leafy bower
The one was lovely Nancy, so beautiful & fair
The other was a virgin and did the laurel wear
And did the laurel wear.
I boldly stepped up to her to hear what she did say
Are you engage to any young man come tell to me I pray
I am not engaged to any young man I solemnly declare
For I mean to stay a virgin and still the laurel wear
And still the laurel wear.
I said unto this pretty maid I'd have you change your mind
'Tis wrong that such a maid as you should banish all mankind
But lovely Nancy standing by these words to me did say
Come leave her to her folly and let us go away
And let us go away.
Then hand in hand together this loving couple went
All for to know this fair maids mind it was his sole intent
Whether he would slighted be when he to sea did go
But she answered him Oh no my love, I love my sailor bold
I love my sailor bold.
When this fair maid had told to him the secrets of her mind
The jolly sailor jumped for joy to hear speak so kind
Saying I am blest forever, how happy I shall be
If I may have my own true love sit smiling on my knee
Sit smiling on my knee
It's down in Plymouth Harbour our ship lies waiting there
And I must go to the sea my love whenever the wind blows fair
And if my love could go with me how happy I should be
If I could have my own true love sit smiling on my knee
Sit smiling on my knee.
So far you well dear Nancy since from you I must go
Where many stormy winds do rise & bitter blasts do blow
And when I do return again married to you I will be
I'll make myself contented & and go no more to sea
And go no more to sea.