Blow the Wind Southerly

Maritime-themed Song

John Stobbs (1817-18??)

Blow the wind Southerly, Southerly, Southerly, 
Blow the wind South o−er the bonnie blue sea;
Blow the wind Southerly, Southerly, Southerly,
Blow bonnie breeze, my lover to me.

They told me last night there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down to the deep rolling sea; 
But my eye could not see it
Wherever might be it, 
The bark that is bearing my lover to me.

The ships there were many a blowing and bowin−
And bending right o−er in the salty sea foam;
‘Til my eye did behold it,
As many had told it,
The great bonnie ship of my lover come home.

My sweetheart had fared through the winter unfriendly:
His ship came along in the early spring tide.
Now my heartache is ended;
All rifts now are mended;
My lover will soon be right here by my side.


image of album cover for Bounding Main Lost at Sea - click for more info about the album

Song Notes

Former member Maggie Hannington discovered this song in her research for a maritime piece to be included in Bounding Main’s first professional CD, Maiden Voyage.   It was arranged for her and Christie Dalby and Gina Dalby to sing together as a trio.

This song was curated in the 1882 collection, Northumbrian Minstrelsy, but while credited to John Stobbs, it appears that he expanded a fragment of a much older song and published it under his name.  The tune is also known as the fiddle jig, “Biddy from Sligo” – the first half only.

More information can be found here:  Mainly Norfolk:  English Folk and Other Good Music, and here:  Mudcat Café.