The Young Fisherwoman

Artist:  Smiley Bates
Key:     D

The boats were all set to depart
The crews prepared nets for the journey
One last kiss from sweethearts and wives
Who were left standing there by the sea

One young wife with tears in her eyes
Who had only a short time been wed
Would with others be waiting return
Of her husband the fisherman Ned

She watched the small boat with its sail
Just a speck on the distant horizon
Then she turned a weary foot home
For she knew that the night would soon come

    How empty the village would be
    How lonely the fisherman's wife
    For this was Ned's first trip to sea
    Since she'd moved to the village his wife

Long days had now passed since they'd gone
'Twas time for return to the harbor
The women and children were there
With laughter and hearts all a-glow

And soon there were cries of delight
From the lips of the ones that had gathered
Small pointed white sails had been seen
They were welcomed and hailed as they neared

But then came a cry of despair
From the sight of the boats they had yearned
They all knew that fifteen had left
But only fourteen had returned

    Poor Grace so torn could not speak
    'Twas Ned's boat that could not be found
    The others tread sad to their homes
    While Grace knelt there on the ground

The story was told of the winds
In the storm how the one boat was swept
How the men were all lost in the night
Then the whole village silently wept

    The village still tells how for years
    The young fisherwoman did cry
    And watched for a boat to come in
    Each day by the lonely seaside

Disclaimer: Although this transcription is based on the specified version, other versions and sources may have been consulted and errors made by the artist may have been corrected. Other errors should be reported to

Barb Diederich's Bluegrass Lyric Database /