Neptune’s Maid: A Cornish steampunk sea-shanty

Sailors will you gather round

And hear my own sad tale-o

Of men who hear the siren’s call

O’er steam and sea and sail-o.

 

There was a young man, braw and hale

And to the Lord so dear-o

With a voice so strong and true

The birds would come to hear-o.

 

One day she heard him, Neptune’s maid,

As waves she rode to land-o

She changed her shape and came ashore

And met him on the strand-o.

 

He forgot he trothéd was

To church and lady fair-o

He took the mermaid to his wife

With seashells in her hair-o.

 

O where is her lover dear?

O where now is he-o?

The mermaid’s ta’en him by the hand

And led him out to sea-o.

 

Come the nights of stormy gales

When wives fear for their kin-o

Some say they hear him singing still

Beneath the waves and wind-o.

 

Lyrics ©2014 Shelley Adina

Based loosely on the legend of the mermaid of Zennor, and featured in the upcoming Magnificent Devices novel, A Lady of Spirit.

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