WATER IS WIDE

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

 

WATER IS WIDE
“The Water Is Wide” (also called “O Waly, Waly”) is thought to be an English or Scottish
folk song that has been sung since the 1600s and has seen considerable popularity
through to the 21st century. The inherent challenges of love are made apparent in the
narrator’s imagery: “Love is handsome, love is kind” during the novel honeymoon phase
of any relationship. However, as time progresses, “love grows old, and waxes cold”. Even
true love, the narrator admits, can “fade away like morning dew”. “The Water is Wide”
has also been recorded countless times, with popular renditions by Bob Dylan, Pete
Seeger, The Seekers, Rangers, Joan Baez, Steeleye Span, Karla Bonoff, James Taylor,
John Gorka, Bob McCarthy, Daniel Rodriguez, Luka Bloom and Rory Block. The lyrics
vary from period to period and from singer to singer.
The water is wide, I can’t cross o’er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I
Oh love is gentle and love is kind
The sweetest flower when first it’s new
but love grows old and waxes cold and fades away
like morning dew
There is a ship and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not as deep as the love I’m in
I know not how I sink or swim
The water is wide, I can’t cross o’er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I
And both shall row, my love and I