I came across Come my Little Roving Sailor
more-or-less by accident in 80 English Folk Songs
whilst initially being more interested in the comic propensities of Old Woman
(both songs are on the same page). This four-verse ditty is really quite odd. In the first verse, the singer, a "lady", proposes matrimony to a roving sailor (very odd). In the second, our hero replies that he has gold, silver, house, land, treasure and he places the whole caboodle at her disposal (really very odd). The good lady replies that she is not interested in wealth and all that she wants is a handsome man (extremely odd). This sequence of oddities is concluded by the ultimate oddity in the final verse whereby our hero chastises his suitor for having store for handsomeness ".. it will fade in half an hour."
. Clearly our man is a man-of-principle who has no desire for a flighty-girl, but for one who can take care of his loot!!
If there is a moral in this then it beats me. Can anybody out there in cyberspace explain?