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I Wish the Sea Would Roll You Back to Me

Written in New York in 1976.


I wish the sea would roll you back to me,
So I could see your face again;
I wish the sea would roll you back to me,
So you would marry me,
And I’d feel fine again.

There was a woman in our town,
Who watched the ocean every night,
Round and round her widow’s walk
Until the morning’s light;
And people said she was crazy,
And she never slept, and to stay way;
And soon she’d catch pneumonia and pass away.

But every night she calls to Willie,
Who sailed away to Pakistan
And led a bloody mutiny and escaped to Andaman.
Oh, Willie, is that your sail I see?
Do you have a dress for me, now will you marry me?
Can your captain do the service beneath the sails?
I’d be content to sit at your knee
And hear your sailing tales.



And he was gonna bring her spices and a silken wedding gown
But he met an Andaman woman and settled down.

And now and then I think of her and Willie,
And all the things that have happened between you and me;
And you were gonna bring me spices and a silken wedding gown,
But you met another woman and you settled down.

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