Blackwaterside - Chords, Lyrics and Origins


It's more a case of who hasn't recorded this song than who has. For guitarists, the seminal version is by Bert Jansch. Unfortunately, I can't play guitar anything like as well as him. Sandy Denny recorded another well-known version. And then there is the version by Show of Hands, the version by the Oysterband, John Renbourne, Anne Briggs... It's the 'I did it my way' of folk!

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One evening fair I took the air

           Bflat     C

Down by         Blackwaterside.

Bflat    C     Bflat   C
'Twas gazing all around me

Bflat         C
When the Irish lad I spied.


One evening fair I took the air

Down by Blackwaterside.

'Twas gazing all around me

When the Irish lad I spied.


All through the first part of that night

We did lie in sport and play.

Then this young man arose and gathered his clothes

And said, "Fare ye well. I am away."


"That's not the promise you gave to me

When first you lay on my breast.

You made me believe with your lying tongue

That the sun rose in the west."


"Go home, go home, to your father's garden,

Go home and weep your fill,

And think upon your own misfortune

That you brought with your wanton will."


There's not one girl in this whole town

As easily led as I.

When the sky does fall and the seas run dry,

Why it's then you'll marry I.


Traditional, arranged by Peter Webster


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