Dalhousie University Archives

Nova Scotia Ballads

[Page 175]

The Lost Jimmy Whaling 1 , 2

One night, as I strayed by the banks of a river,
Watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh,
As I carelessly wandered, I espied a fair maiden,
Weeping and wailing in sorrow and woe.
Weeping for one who is now lying lonely,
Crying for one who no mortal could save,
For the deep rolling waters around him are sighing,
As onward they flow over young Jimmy’s grave.
“Jimmy” she says, “won’t you come here to me,
Come to me here from your cold, silent tomb.
For you promised you’d meet me by the banks of the river,
But Death’s cruel angel has sealed your sad doom.
[Page 176]
“You promised you’d meet me by the banks of the river,
And give me sweet kisses as oftimes you gave,
To enfold me once more in your strong loving arms,
To meet me once more Jimmy, come from your grave.”
Slowly there rose from the banks of the river
A vision of beauty more bright than the sun,
With lilies and roses around him entangled,
For to speak with this fair one, and thus he begun:
Why did you call me from realms of glory,
Back to this earth which I once had to leave,
To enfold you once more in my strong loving arms,
To meet you once more I have come from my grave.
[Page 177]
“Hard was my struggle with the deep rolling waters,
That encompassed around me on every side,
But thinking of you love, I encountered them bravely,
Hoping some day that you would be my bride.
“Vain were the hopes that arose in my bosom,
Nothing, oh nothing on earth could me save,
But the last one I thought on was God and you darling,
As downward I sank to my cold sullen grave.”
"Jimmy", she says, "won't you tarry here with me.
Do not desert me in sorrow to mourn,
But take me, oh take me, along with you, Jimmy,
To dwell down with you in your cold silent tomb,"
[Page 178]
"Darling", he says, "you are asking a favour,
That no mortal person can grant unto you,
For death is the dagger that put us asunder,
And deep is the gulf, love, between me and you.
"One more sweet kiss, love, and then I must leave you,
One more embrace, love, and then we must part."
But cold were the arms that encircled her form,
And cold was the breast that she pressed to her heart.
"Adieu then," he cried, and he vanished before her,
Straight for the clouds then, he seemed for to go,
Leaving this fair one alone and deserted,
Weeping and wailing, in sorrow and woe
[Page 179]
She threw herself down on the ground and wept sadly,
In the midst of her anguish these words she did say,
"Since you were my loved one, my lost Jimmy Whaling3,
I'll sigh till I die by the side of your grave."


Alternative Title: "The Lost Jimmy Whelan." Reference: Fowke, E.(2013).Anglo-Canadian occupational songs.The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/anglo-canadian-occupational-songs-emc/
Upper-Canadian "Lumbering Song." Reference: See Note 1
Alternative Spelling: Jimmy Whelan. Reference: See Note 1
Anonymous. Date: 2014-10-16