“The Sea Apprentice”

Alternate titles: “Bonny Anne”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1928 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
Keywords: love courting separation sailor
Found in: Ireland Canada(Mar,Newf)


"When I first went a sea-apprentice bound, I sailed the salt seas all round and round." The singer falls in love with Anne. The captain calls him foolish; she will take another while he is at sea. But he offers her tokens, and she promises to wait


The Digital Tradition version of this song, from Creighton, is listed as Laws M12, but it appears to be this song (Creighton also has a version of Laws M12, which may explain the confusion). - RBW.

Same tune

Cross references



  1. Greenleaf/Mansfield 107, "The Prentice Boy" (2 texts)
  2. Peacock, pp. 575-578, "A Prentice Boy in Love" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  3. SHenry H739, p. 291, "The Sea Apprentice" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Creighton-NovaScotia 139, "Prentice Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. DT 579, PRENTICE
  6. Roud #1671
  7. BI, HHH739