I Will Set My Ship In Order

from by Glen Bullivant

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This old Scottish folk song is a tragic story of the Romeo and Juliet ilk as is prevalent in many folk cultures. I first heard it played by Tony McManus and had to do a version of it myself.


I will set my ship in order
I will sail her on the sea
I'll go far over yonder border
To see if my love minds on me.

He sailed East and he sailed West
He sailed far, far seeking land
Until he cam to his true love's windae,
And he knocked loud and would be in.

Oh who is this at my bedroom windae
Who knocks so loud and would be in?
'Tis I, 'tis I, your ane true lover
And I am drenched untae my skin.

So go and go and ask your faither
If he will let you marry me
If he says no, then come and tell me,
And it's the last I'll trouble thee.

My Fathers in his chamber writing
Setting down his merchandise
And in his hand he holds a letter
And it speaks much in your dispraise.

My Mother's in her chamber sleeping
Words of love, she will not hear
So you may go and court another
Whisper softly in her ear.

She arose, put on her clothing
'Twas to let her lover in
But 'ere she had the door unlockit
His ship was sailing on the main.

Come back, come back my ane dear Johnny
Come back, come back and marry me
How can I come back and marry you, love?
Our ship is sailing on the sea.

The fish will fly and the seas gan dry
The rocks will melt doon wi' the sun
The working man will forget his labour
Before my true love shall return.

She's turned hersel' right round aboot
She's flung hersel' intae the sea
"Farewell for aye, my ane dear Johnny
Ye'll ne'er hae t'come back to me."


from Cast Adrift, released January 12, 2016
Arranged by Tony McManus


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