This song is also sometimes known as The Dawning of the Day, but that title is also used by at least one other song and several tunes. The band Stockton's Wing recorded a nice version of this song on their self-titled album, released around 1970.
Brian adds: I learned this song from Eileen O'Connor when she came to St. Louis during the Comhaltas tour of 1998 and performed in Sheldon concert hall. Though some singers say "West Indies" in the second verse, East Indies is most appropriate for the time in which it was composed...during colonization of the East Indies by England.
It was pleasant and delightful on a bright summer's morn
When the green fields and the meadows were covered with corn
And the blackbirds and thrushes sitting on every green spray
And the larks they sang melodious at the dawning of the day
And the larks, they sang melodious (x3)
At the dawning of the day.
A sailor and his true love went walking one day
Said the sailor to his true love I'm bound far away
I'm bound for the East Indies where the loud cannons roar
So tis fare you well my Nancy, you're the girl that I adore
So tis fare you well my Nancy (x3)
You're the girl that I adore
A ring from his finger he instantly drew
Saying take this and keep it; my heart will go too
And as they stood embracing, tears from her eyes fell
Saying' May I go along with you, Oh no my love farewell
Saying' May I go along with you (x3)
Oh no my love farewell
So tis fare you well Nancy, I can no longer stay
For the topsail is hoisted and the anchor is weighed
And the ship she stands now lies waiting for the next flowing tide
And if ever I return again I will make you my bride
And if ever I return again (x3)
I will make you my bride
As Jimmy was sailing, all at his heart's content
The ship struck a rock and to the bottom she went
And Nancy she lies waiting, all alone to complain
For the loss of her Jimmy who died upon the Main.
For the loss of her Jimmy (x3)
Who died upon the Main.