This song uses the same tunes as the song "The Butcher Boy" and is of a similar theme.
It was early, early in the spring
my boy Willie went to serve the king
And all that vexed him and grieved his mind
was the leaving of his dear girl behind.
Oh father dear build me a boat
that on the ocean I might float
And hail the ships as they pass by
for to inquire of my sailor boy.
She had not sailed long in the deep
when a fine ship's crew she chanced to meet
And of the captain she inquired to
"Does my boy Willie sail on board with you?"
"What sort of a lad is your Willie fair?
What sort of clothes does your Willie wear?"
"He wears a coat of royal blue,
and you'll surely know him for his heart is true".
"If that's your Willie he is not here.
Your Willie's drowned as you did fear.
'Twas at yonder green island as we passed by,
it was there we lost a fine sailor boy".
Go dig my grave long wide and deep,
put a marble stone at my head and feet.
And in the middle, a turtle dove.
So the whole world knows that I died of love.