Yarmouth Town

In Yarmouth Town there lived a man,
kept a little tavern down by the strand.
The landlord had a daughter fair,
a pretty little thing with the golden hair.

Oh, won’t you come down,
Won’t you come down,
Won’t you come down
To Yarmouth town.

At night there came a sailor man
and he’s asked the daughter for her hand.
“Oh, why should I marry you, she said,
I have all I want without being wed.

But if with me you do want a linger,
I tie a piece of string all around my finger
and as you pass by, just pull on the string
and I’ll come down and I’ll let you in.”

At closing time the sailor man
he’s gone to the tavern down by the strand
and as he passed by, he pulled on the string,
and she’s come down, and she’s let him in.

Now he’s never seen such a sight before,
’cause the string around the finger was all she wore.

The sailor stayed the whole night through
and early in the morning went back to his crew,
and then he told them about the maiden fair,
the pretty little thing with the golden hair.

Well, the news it soon got around
and the very next night in Yarmouth Town
there was fifteen sailors pulling on the string
and she’s come down and she’s let them all in.

So all young men that to Yarmouth go,
if you see a pretty girl with her hair hanging low,
well, all you’ve got to do is pull on the string,
and she’ll come down and she’ll let you in.


The B-side of Planxty single had the following bawdy song which somehow never found its way into one of the Planxty CDs or LP-records.

1972: “Cliffs of Dooneen”/”Yarmouth Town” – 7″ single (Polydor 2078-023)

“Yarmouth Town” is a traditional English song. It is a shanty about the town of Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast. It recounts a story of a young woman, the daughter of a pub landlord, who takes many lovers amongst the sailors passing through the port.


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