Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of the Siren, #27
Song: Nick Cave: Pinery Boy (3:15 minutes)
from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.
Buy CD in Germany and elsewhere.
Image: Patrick Fraser: Ghostparties, April 2, 2009.
“O father, o father, build me a boat,
Then down the Wisconsin I may float,
And every raft that I pass by
There I will inquire for my sweet Pinery Boy.”
As she was rowing down the stream
She saw three rafts all in a string.
And she hailed the pilot as they passed by
And there she did inquire for her sweet Pinery Boy.
“O pilot, o pilot, tell me true,
Is my sweet Willie among your crew?
Oh, tell me quick and give me joy,
For none other will I have but my sweet Pinery Boy.
Oh, auburn was the color of his hair,
His eyes were blue and his cheeks were fair.
And his lips were of a ruby fine;
Ten thousand times they’ve met with mine.”
“O dear dear lady, he is not here.
He has drownded in the dells I fear.
‘Twas at Lone Rock as we passed by,
Oh, there is where we left your sweet Pinery Boy.”
She wrung her hands and tore her hair,
Just like a lady in great despair,
She rowed her boat against Lone Rock
For a Pinery Boy her heart was broke.
Explanatory liner notes by ANTI-:
An early American folk ballad which tells of a young woman’s desperate search for her timber raftsman lover on the Wisconsin river. She takes to a raft herself to find him, but alas, he has drowned. This is the American version of an older British song, A Sailor’s Life [known by Fairport Convention].