The singer's parents "forced me to Americay, my fortune to pursue." As the ship crosses the ocean, he thinks of his beloved Sally Greer. The ship sinks, with only (13) of 350 surviving. The poor survivor hopes to return to Sally
Sally Greer Partial text(s) *** A *** Charming Sally Greer From Kenneth Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, Volume II, pp. 358-359. Sung by Mary Ann Galpin, Codroy, July 1960. Good people all both old and young my age is twenty-three, My parents turned me from their door unto Amerikay, All from that verdant Ireland where my first breath I drew, That forced me to Americay my fortune to pursue. (5 additional stanzas)
This song is item dD39 in Laws's Appendix II. It reminds me of Laws K11, "Sally Munroe," but though there are several points of contact, the plot differs somewhat and there do not appear to be common lyrics.
Peacock notes that the various versions give different internal dates: 1833 and 1843. - RBW