A-Roving

In Plymouth town there lived a maid;
Bless you young women;
In Plymouth town there lived a maid;
O mind what I do say;
In Plymouth town there lived a maid,
And she was mistress of her trade,
I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid.

Ch: A-roving, a-roving,
Since roving's been my ruin
I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid.

I took this fair maid for a walk,
And we had such a loving talk.

I took her hand within my own
And said: I'm bound for my old home.

From English Folk-Chanteys by Cecil Sharp (1914)

In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
And she was mistress of her trade,

I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid!
A-roving, a-roving!, since roving's been my ru-i-in
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid!

This last six months I've been to sea,
And boys, this maid looked good to me.

Her cheeks were like the roses red,
And her eyes were like twin stars at night.

I kissed this fair maid on both cheeks.
Says she, "Young man, you're rather free!"

In three weeks' time I was badly bent,
And then to sea I sadly went,

In a red-hot Yank bound around Cape Horn,
And all my clothes they were in pawn,

Bound around Cape Horn and up to Callao
And then load 'petre fer Liverpool.

Alternately, in place of the last two stanzas

My clothes and sea-boots in the pawn,
On a red-hot Yank bound around Cape Horn!

Around Cape Horn through frost an' snow
An' up th' coast to Callao

To load saltpeter for Liverpool
An' back around Cape Horn again!

A-Roving (I)
From Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman by William Main Doerflinger (1951, '72, '91)