“Nancy Lee”


"Of all the wives as e'er you know. Yeo ho! Lads, ho! ... There's one like Nancy Lee, I know..." Chorus: " The sailor's wife the sailor's star shall be, Yeo ho! We go across the sea." Composed song in which a sailor sings the praises of his wife.

Supplemental text

Nancy Lee
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Frank Shay, American Sea Songs and Chanteys, pp. 170-171.
Source not indicated.

Of all the wives as e'er you know,
  Yeo-ho! lads, ho! Yeo-ho! Yeo-ho!
There's none like Nancy Lee, I trow,
  Yeo-ho! Yeo-ho! Yeo-ho!
See there she stands and waves her hands upon the quay,
And every day when I'm away she'll watch for me,
And whisper low when tempests blow, for Jack at sea,
  Yeo-ho! lads, ho! Yeo-ho!

  The sailor's wife the sailor's star shall be,
    Yeo-ho! We go across the sea;
  The sailor's wife the sailor's star shall be,
    The sailor's wife his star shall be!

(2 additional stanzas)


Adams and Weatherly were a very successful British songwriting team during the 1880s & 90s. Stephen Adams's real name was Michael Maybrick, and he was brother to James Maybrick, one of the favorite contenders for having been Jack the Ripper. - SL

For Weatherly, the reputed author of "Danny Boy," see the notes to that song. - RBW


  1. Harlow, pp. 159-161, "Nancy Lee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 170-171, "Nancy Lee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST ShaSS170 (Partial)
  4. Roud #5014
  5. BI, ShaSS170


Author: Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929)/Tune: Stephen Adams (a.k.a. Michael Maybrick)
Earliest date: 188? (composed); 1948 (Shay)
Found in: Britain US