I'll build myself a little boat,
And on the ocean I will float;
I'll hail all the ships as they pass by,
For I thought I heard Sweet Willie's cry.
"Captain, Captain! Tell me true,
Does my Willie sail with you?"
"No, pretty fair maid. He doesn't sail here.
He's drowned in the deep, I fear."
She wrung her hands and tore her hair,
Like a pretty fair maid in days despair;
Then she went and wrote a song,
She wrote it true, she wrote it long
And every line she shed a tear
Crying: "Oh, my dear, my dear,
My dearest dear!
He's drowned in the deep I fear."
Four young lawyers came riding by-
Saw her hanging on a limb so high.
They drew a knife and cut her down,
And on her breast there words they found:
"Go dig my grave both wide and deep.
Place a marble stone at my head and feet;
And across my breast place a turtle-dove
To show to the world that I died for love,
To show to the world that I died for love.
The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.