The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

Little Nell of Naraganset Bay

Cat. #0442 (MFH #375) - As sung by Mrs. George Ripley, Milford, Missouri on December 14, 1959

VERSE 1
Full well, do I remember
My boyhoods happy hours
Th cottage an' th garden
Where bloomed th fairest flowers
Th bright an' sparkling water
O'er which we used to sail
With hearts so gay, for miles away
Against th gentle gale
I had a dear companion
But she's not with me now
Th lily of th valley
Is waving o'er her brow
An' I'm sad an' lonely
An' mourning all th day
For bright eyed laughing little Nell
Of Naraganset Bay

CHORUS
Toll, toll th bell
At early dawn of day
For lovely Nell
So quickly passed away
Toll, toll th bell
So soft an' mournfully
For bright eyed laughing little Nell
Of Naraganset Bay

VERSE 2
I loved th little beauty
My boat it was my pride
An' with her close beside me
What joy, th foam t' ride
She'd laugh with tones so merry
To see th waves go by
While wildly blew th stormy winds
An' murky was th sky
Th lightning flashed around us
An' all was dark an' drear
We loved t' brave th ocean
An' never thought of fear
The Arrow bounded onward
An' darted thru th spray
With bright eyed laughing little Nell
Of Narganset bay

VERSE 3
One day, from us she wandered
An' swum t' them th boat
Th cord was quickly loosened
An' with th tide afloat
Th treacherous bark flew lightly
An' swift before th wind
While home an' friends an' all, so dear
Were many miles behind
Next day, her form, all lifeless
Was washed upon th beach
I stood an' gazed upon it
Bereathed of sense an' speech
But t'is years since thus we parted
But here, I weep today
For bright eyed laughing little Nell
Of Naraganset Bay

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