“The Seaman of Plymouth”


A sailor must go to sea before he can wed Susan. When she refuses to marry a rich man, her parents send her to Holland. The sailor, now rich, accidentally meets her; they return home; she disguises herself from her parents and they are wed

Supplemental text

Seaman of Plymouth, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders & George Brown, Vermont Folk-Songs
& Ballads, pp. 141-147. From a manuscript supplied by Lucinda
Wheeler, with a tune apparently from Josepha Cobb.

A seaman of Plymouth, sweet William, by name,
A-wooing to beautiful Susan he came.
At length he obtained her love and goodwill
And likewise her father admired him still.

(49 additional stanzas)

Long description

A sailor and beautiful Susan are to wed, but she becomes sick; he is forced to sail away. While he is gone, her parents try to wed her to a rich man; when she refuses, they send her to Holland. The sailor returns, having become rich, and is told she is dead. He sails away in grief, is shipwrecked in Holland, meets her, and they return home to wed. The girl arrives in disguise; her parents continue their play-acting. At last she reveals herself, and all ends happily


  1. Flanders/Brown, pp. 141-147, "The Seaman of Plymouth" (1 text, 1 tune, very long and quite clumsy; there is probably a broadside version in its very recent ancestry)
  2. ST FlBr141 (Partial)
  3. Roud #2811
  4. BI, FlBr141


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (Flanders/Brown)
Found in: US(NE)