The Roving Young Boatman

by Jane Rouse
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There was a young boatman from Banbury town
He worked on a pair of coal boats carrying up and down
He had a young lady in every place
The roving young boatman with an eye for a pretty face

Each night in a different place he would stop
And each night to another young girl he would swap
One in Oxford, one in Banbury and one in Napton
And each of them thought that she was the only one

To thoughts of his future the young boatman turned
For a wife and companion in boating he yearned
But which of his sweethearts would keep him so true?
The love of young Nancy was the dearest he knew

The young boatman held her close and he whispered his intent
But Nancy she never could have granted her consent
She knew many handsome boatmen who often passed through
Like the young boatman she had been unfaithful too

She answered I'll never be any man's wife
For I love the sweet pleasure of a gay and single life
And she planned to continue with her admiring roving eye
I will not agree to marry you to the boatman she did cry

The young boatman left his mooring with a sorry broken heart
Further on up the Oxford with his boats he did start
If he can't have lovely Nancy then another wife I'll seek
And I venture that I can gain one by the end of the week

So again the young boatman from Banbury town
Went a-working on his coal boats carrying up and down
He had a young lady in every place
The roving young boatman with an eye for a pretty face
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