Lyrics

A Rovin’ (Amsterdam Maid)

Capstan or Pump Shanty

Traditional

In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
Mark well what I do say!
In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
An’ she wuz mistress of her trade,
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid.

Chorus:
A-rovin’, a-rovin’,
Since rovin’s bin my ru-i-in,
We’ll go no more a-rovin’,
With you fair maid.

One night I crept from my abode,
Mark well what I do say!
One night I crept from my abode,
To meet this fair maid down the road.
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid. (Chorus)

I met this fair maid after dark,
Mark well what I do say!
I met this fair maid after dark,
An’ took her to her favorite park.
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid. (Chorus)

I took this fair maid for a walk,
Mark well what I do say!
I took this fair maid for a walk,
An’ we had such a lovely talk.
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid. (Chorus)

I put me arm around her waist,
Mark well what I do say!
I put me arm around her waist,
She says, “Young man, yer in great haste!”
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid. (Chorus)

I put me hand upon her knee,
Mark well what I do say!
I put me hand upon her knee,
She says, “Young man, get back to sea!”
I’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid. (Chorus)

WHERE TO FIND IT

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Song Notes

Some scholars attribute the origins of this song to Thomas Heywood’s “The Tragedy of the Rape of Lucrece” (1608). Lord Byron’s use in 1817 of “So, we’ll go no more a roving” seems to be inspired by a Scottish song “The Jolly Beggar” which was seen in broadsides about 1776. Any of these pieces could have inspired this song that was eventually documented in the mid 1800’s and is known to us today as The Maid of Amsterdam or A Rovin’.
The version compiled by Stan Hugill in his Songs of the Seven Seas had so many verses it could go on for days! I reduced the number of verses to accommodate the size of our group and put in a definitive closing line.  — Dean Calin