Pete Seeger – John Riley Lyrics

As I went out one morning early
To breathe the sweet and pleasant air
Who should I spy but a fair young maiden;
She seemed to me like a lily fair

I stepped to her add kindly asked her
“Would you like to be a bold sailor’s wife?”
“Oh no kind sir,” she quickly answered
“I choose to lead a sweet single life.”

“What makes you different from other women?
What makes you different from other kind?
For you are young, sweet, beautiful and handsome
And for to marry you, I might incline.”

“It’s now kind sir that I must tell you
I might have been married three years ago
To one John Riley who left this country
He’s been the cause of my overthrow.”

“He courted me both late and early
He courted me both night and day
And when he had once my affections gained
He left me here and he went away.”

“Oh never mind for this Johnny Riley
Oh come with me to the distant shore
Why, we’ll sail o’er to Pennsylvany
And bid adieu to Riley forever more.”

“I shan’t go with you to Pennsylvany
Or go with you to the distant shore
My heart is with Riley, my long lost lover
Although I’ll never see him no more.”

Oh, when he saw that her love was loyal
He gave her kisses one, two, and three
Saying, “I’m the man you once called Johnny Riley
Saying “I’m the cause of your misery.”

“I’ve sailed the ocean, gained great promotion
I’ve laid my money on the English shore
And now we’ll marry, no longer tarry
And I shall never deceive you any more.”