“My Handsome Sailor Boy”


"As I roved out one evening down Water street I took my way." Mary Jane hopes to meet MacDonald, her true love, but is told he's gone to Halifax "for money." Her mother and father tell her to forget MacDonald but she will go to Halifax to be his bride.

Supplemental text

My Handsome Sailor Boy
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Kenneth Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, Volume II,
pp. 566-567. Sung by Arthur Nicolle, Rocky Harbour, August 1958.

As I roved out one evening down Water street I took my way,
In hopes to meet my own true love, for I had not long to stay;
In crossing the wide ocean for money and for gain,
It's now I'm told that he's returned to his own dear Mary Jane.

(4 additional stanzas)


Peacock says "Despite the fact that Mary Jane roves down Water Street in St John's (or Halifax) and MacDonald lives in Halifax, this song does not seem to me to be of Canadian origin. It is probably a British song with Canadian referents." Water Street is hardly a street name found only in Halifax or St John's - BS


  1. Peacock, pp. 566-567, "My Handsome Sailor Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST Pea566 (Partial)
  3. Roud #9795
  4. BI, Pea566


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Peacock)
Found in: Canada(Newf)