Barney

"The Sailor's Wife" by Henry Edward Detmold, 1854.

I suppose this song is better sung by women, such as Lal and Norma Waterson on the Watersons' album 'For Pence and Spicy Ale' in 1976. But I love the song and cannot resist giving it a try myself.

A.L. Lloyd said that Barney was a song favored by Irish comedians in the 1860s. So I guess it was supposed to be a spoof, but in the voices of the Waterson women it was a lovely and tender ballad. It is, of course, related to songs like 'Bring Back My Johnny' and 'Bring Back My Bonnie to Me.'

Lyrics: 

Oh he's gone and I'm now sad and lonely
He has left me to cross the blue sea
But I know that he thinks of me only
And he'll soon be returning to me

His eyes they were filled with devotion
As my husband he said he would be
Blow gently ye winds of the ocean
And bring back my Barney to me

If at night as I lay on my pillow
The wild winds they mourn and they sigh
And I think of each angery billow
And I watch every cloud o'er the sky

My bosom is filled with emotion
As I see my love over the sea
Blow gently ye winds of the ocean
And bring back my Barney to me

He has left me his fortune to better
And I know that he left for my sake
Soon I'll be receiving a letter
If not, sure my poor heart will break

For to think that he'll soon be returning
To his beauteous dear island and me
Blow gently ye winds of the ocean
And bring back my Barney to me

Last night as I lay on my pillow
Last night as I lay on my bed
Last night as I lay on my pillow
I dreamed my poor Barney was dead

My bosom is filled with emotion
As I see my love over the sea
Blow gently ye winds of the ocean
And bring back my Barney to me

Instruments: 
Tuning: 
standard