“The Widow in the Cottage by the Sea”


"In my cottage by the seashore I can see my mansion home... Where with pleasure I have roamed." The singer recalls her family, and thinks how they would mourn if they saw her now. Now her love is dead, and she is "a widow in the cottage by the sea."


In a curious twist, the key final lines of this song ("All this time I"m left a widow At the cottage near the sea") wind up in a British lost love song, "Blue-Eyed Lover" (MacSeegTrav 59), which in desperation I filed with the "Dear Companion" family. Which probably says more about lost love songs than about this piece.

Note also that Roud has two pieces frequently known by this name, and while they appear distinct, I don't always agree with the way he files the pieces. - RBW

In the Bodleian broadside we have a few more details. In the first verse the widow explains that the marriage was "just one year ago to day love ... I changed a mansion for a cottage" and another verse "He lost his life upon the ocean."

Of Roud's broadside entries for #4327 the ones starting "Childhood days now pass before me" are for a different song, which can also be found at Bodleian and American Memory; those starting "Just one year ago to day love" are probably the Bodleian version of this song. - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Firth b.28(33d), "All Alone. Cottage by the Sea," J. West (Brighton), n.d.; also Harding B 11(3565), "The Cottage by the Sea" ("Just one year ago to day love")


  • [Walter "Kid" Smith & the] Carolina Buddies, "In a Cottage By the Sea" (Columbia 15537-D, 1930)
  • Fred Stanley, "The Cottage by the Sea" (Columbia 15559-D, 1930)


  1. Randolph 702, "The Widow in the Cottage by the Sea" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. BrownII 114, "In a Cottage by the Sea" (1 text plus mention of 4 more)
  3. Leach-Labrador 123, "Widow by the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #1743 and 4327
  5. BI, R702


Author: C. A. White
Earliest date: 1868 (sheet music)
Keywords: death family home poverty
Found in: US(SE,So) Canada(Newf)