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Traditional; arranged and adapted by Loreena McKennitt


As I walked out one morning

All in the month of May

Down by a flowery garden

I carelessly did stray


I overheard a young maid

In sorrow did complain,

All for her absent lover

Who plows the raging main.


I boldly stepped up to her

And put her in surprise.

I know she did not know me

I being in disguise.


I says, "Me charming creature,

My joy, my hearts delight,

How far have you to travel

This dark and dreary night?"


"I'm in search of a faithless young man.

Johnny is his name.

And along the Banks of Claudy

I'm told be does remain."


"This is the Banks of Claudy

Fair maid where on you stand.

But don't depend on Johnny

For he's a false young man.


Oh don't depend on Johnny

For he'll not meet you here.

But tarry with me in yon green woods

No danger need you fear


Oh it's six long weeks or better

Since Johnny left the shore

He's crossing the wild ocean

Where the foam and the billows roar


He's crossing the wild ocean

For honour and for fame.

But this I've beard, the ship was wrecked

All on the coast of Spain."


Oh it's when she heard this dreadful news

She flew into despair

By the wringing of her milk white hands

And the tearing of her hair.



Saying "If Johnny he is drowned

No man on earth I'll take,

But through lonesome groves and valleys

I'll wander for his sake."



Oh it's when he saw her loyalty

No longer could he stand

He flew into her arms saying

"Betsy I'm the man."


"Saying Betsy I'm the young man

The cause of all your pain

But since we've met on Claudy Banks

We'll never part again."