“My Generous Lover”


False Jimmy deceives an innocent young woman into yielding to him; she says, "My generous lover, you're welcome to me", but the generosity is all hers. She leaves her home; he leaves the country, telling her not to allow any other to love her; she regrets

Supplemental text

My Generous Lover
  Complete text(s)

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The First Time I Saw My Love

As printed in Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, pp. 225-226.
From the journal of the bark Catalpa, sailing from New Bedford
in 1856.

The first time I saw my love happy was I
For I knew not what love was nor how to deny
For I made too much freedom of my love's company
My generous lover you are welcome to me

Happy is the maid that n'er loved a man
She is free of all sorrows that we understand
She is free of all sorrows and sad misery
Oh my generous lover you are welcome to me

My friends and relations they angry were all
For to make free with you in younder fine hall
But my friends and relations they angry may be
My generous lover you are welcome to me

And it's farewell my lassie since I must away
For I in this country no longer can stay
So it's keep your mind easy love keep your mind free
And let no other man be sharers but me

Oh this innocent creature she stood on the ground
With her red rosy cheeks and the tears falling down
Saying Jimmy dear Jimmy you're the first that wooed me
My generous lover you are welcome to me


The alternate title "Pretty Peggy" should not be confused with "Pretty Peggy-O", a version of "Bonnie Lass of Fyvie". The young woman's name does not appear in this song. - PJS

Huntington's version of this (Roud #1996, for which he currently lists only this song) has a rather simplified plot, in which the man's faithlessness is not clear and the sexual element is very muted (I didn't see it until Paul's description brought it out). I tie the two versions together based on the key line "My generous lover, you're welcome to me."

Huntington says he has not seen any other versions in print, and I must admit that I haven't seen any either. Huntington is reminded of "Logie o Buchan," and I get the same feeling. But they are definitely separate songs.

A point of interpretation: I believe the key line "you're welcome to me" does not mean "let's do something dirty" but "you will always be welcome home to me, whatever my family thinks of you." - RBW

I don't agree; the context makes the offer explicitly sexual. Not something dirty; she's offering her heart and body in sexual love, and he proves unworthy of the offer. - PJS


  • A. L. Lloyd, "My Generous Lover" (on Lloyd1)


  1. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 225-227, "The First Time I Saw My Love" (1 text)
  2. ST RcMGL (Full)
  3. Roud #1996
  4. BI, RcMGL


Alternate titles: “Pretty Peggy”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: c. 1960 (recording, A. L. Lloyd)
Found in: Britain(England)