"Sailing in the boat when the tide runs high, (x3) Waiting for the pretty girl(s) to come by and by." The rest is floating verses on courting, e.g. "Here she comes so fine and fair, Sky blue eyes and curly hair, Roses in her cheek, dimple in her chin...."
Sailing in the Boat Complete text(s) *** A *** Sailing at High Tide From W. W. Newell, Games and Songs of American Children, item #168, p. 238. From Connecticut. Reproduced on pp. 812-813 of B. A. Botkin, American Folklore. Sailing in the boat when the tide runs high [thrice] Waiting for the pretty girl to come by'm by. Here she comes so fresh and fair. Sky-blue eyes and curly hair, Rosy in cheek, dimple in her chin, Say, young men, but you can't come in. Rose in the garden for you, young man [twice] Rose in the garden, get it if you can, But take care and don't choose a frost-bitten once. Choose your partner, stay till day, [thrice] Never mind what the old folks say. Old folks say 'tis the very best way, [thrice] To court all night and sleep all day.