Track 1. The Watchet Sailor (Roud 917)

This was the very first song I ever heard about Watchet. I must have been just 7 or 8 years old when I learnt it from Gordon Kidd of Porlock; he was singing it while working with my Dad at Clarks shoe factory.

As I was a walking down Watchet Swain Street, for a jolly old ship mate I chanced for to meet. “Hello brother sailor you’re welcome to home. In season to Watchet I think you are come.”

“Now don’t you remember once courting a maid? And through your long absence a tailor she’ll wed. For tomorrow in Bristol the wedding’s to be, and I’ve been invited for the same to see.”

Now Jack went and got license that very same night, and walked into Bristol as soon as ‘twas light. He sat in the Temple churchyard for a while ‘till he saw the bride coming which caused Jack to smile.

He went and he took this fair maid by the hand: “You’re going to be married as I understand, but if ever you marry then you shall be mine. That’s why I’ve come here, for to baulk yer design.”

“Dear lord”, said the fair maid, “now what shall I do? I know I was solemnly promised to you... but the sailor’s my true love and I’ll be his bride. There’s none in this world I’d have family beside...”

Now the tailor he roared like a man that’s gone mad: “I’m ruined, I’m ruined!” I’m ruined he said. All you that have sweet hearts take them while you may, or else those Jack Tars they will take them away.

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