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John Riley

This song is by Peggy Seeger and appears on the album Heading for Home (2003).

As I walked out one morning early
To take the sweet and pleasant air
Who should I spy but a fair young lady
Her cheeks being like a lily fair

I stepped up to her, right boldly asking
Would she be a sailor's wife?
"Oh no, kind sir, I'd rather tarry
And remain single for all my life"

"Tell me, kind Miss and what makes you differ
From the rest of womankind?"
"I see you're fair, you are young, you're handsome
And for to marry might be inclined"

"The truth, kind Sir, I will plainly tell you
I might have married three years ago
To one John Riley who left this country
He is the cause of all my woe"

"Come along with me, don't you think on Riley
Come along with me to some distant shore
We will set sail for Pennsylvania
Adieu, sweet England, forevermore"

I"'ll not go with you to Pennsylvania
I'll not go with you to that distant shore
My heart's with Riley, I will ne'er forget him
Although I may never see him no more"

And when he seen she truly loved him
He give her kisses, one two and three
Says, "I am Riley, your own true lover
That's been the cause of your misery"

"If you be he and your name is Riley
I'll go with you to that distant shore
We will set sail to Pennsylvania
Adieu, kind friends, forevermore"


Written by:

Peggy Seeger

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