> Folk Music > Songs > I Am a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble

Love’s Parting, or Jamie and Mary / I Am a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble

[ Roud 6897 ; Henry H825, H788 ; Ballad Index HHH825 ; Mudcat 6457 ; trad.]

Love’s Parting, or Jamie and Mary was published in 1939 in the Sam Henry collection, i.e. Songs of the People, a weekly newspaper column in the Northern Constitution newspaper in Coleraine, Co. Derry. His source was Jim Carmichael of Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Paul Brady named his version of this song after its first line, I’m a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble, and recorded it for his 1978 album Welcome Here Kind Stranger, and Cara Dillon sang it in 2001 on her eponymous album Cara Dillon.

Eddie Butcher of Magilligan, Co. Derry, sang I Am a Youth in March 1979 to Hugh Shields. This recording was included on the 3 CD set that accompanied Shields’ 2011 book on Eddie Butcher, All the Days of His Life.

Maggie Boyle sang I’m a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble in 2005 on her CD with Duck Baker and Ben Paley of traditional Irish & American music, The Expatriate Game. They noted:

Maggie Boyle learned A Youth Inclined to Ramble from a 1970s recording by Paul Brady. Brady has spent much of his later career in the pop music world, but it shouldn’t be forgotten what an outstanding and influental traditional singer he was in those early years.

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton sang I Am a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble on their 2007 album Summer’s Lonesome Tale.

Jon Boden sang I Am a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble as the 23 April 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day, referring to Paul Brady too.


Paul Brady sings I Am a Youth That’s Inclined to Ramble

I am a youth that’s inclined to ramble;
To some foreign country I mean to steer.
I am loath to part from my friends and comrades
And my dear sweetheart whom I love dear.
But there’s one of those I do most admire,
On her I’ll think when I’m far away,
For since fates decreed I am resolved to part her
And try my fortune in Amerikay.

So farewell darling since I must leave you,
I place great dependence on your constancy,
That no other young man may gain your favour
Or change your mind when I am o’er the sea.
For although the seas they do separate us
And in between us they do rise and fall,
If fortune favours me you’ll find your Jamie
Returning homeward from Amerikay.

Oh Jamie dear, do you remember
When I sat with you for many’s the hour
And my young fancy away was carried,
And the bees hummed around on each opening flower?
But when you are crossing the western ocean
The maid that loved you, you’ll ne’er mind ava,
And you’ll scarce e’er think upon the maids of Erin
For you’ll find strange sweethearts in Amerikay.

Oh Mary dear, I don’t dissemble
For to all other fair maids I’ll prove untrue,
And if you think these are false promise
I’ll leave these vows as a pledge to you.
That what I have may prove unsuccessful
And fortune prove to me a slippery ball,
That a favouring gale it may ne’er blow on me
If I forsake you in Amerikay.

And to conclude, and to end these verses,
May God protect this young female fair
And keep her from every wild embarrassment
And of my darling take the greatest care.
For she’s slow to anger and of kind disposition,
And her cheeks like roses in June do blow.
In my nightly slumbers when e’er I think on her,
I could court her vision in Amerikay.