[As with many traditional songs, there are several different versions of "The Water Is Wide." The lyrics I've known for thirty years are sad, and sad versions seem to be the best known. In general, there seem to be more unhappy -- or at least ambivalent -- love songs than happy ones, presumably because happy lovers have better things to do than write about love, so I think that the sad versions of "The Water Is Wide" are probably more authentic and that this version is probably contrived. Nonetheless, the buoyancy of this version appealed to me as a finale.]

The water is wide; I can't cross o'er,
And neither have I wings to fly.
Give me a boat that can carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I.

A ship there is, she sails the sea,
She's loaded deep, as deep can be.
But not so deep as the love I'm in;
I know not how I sink or swim.

I leaned my back against an oak,
Knowing it was a trusty tree.
At first it bent, but never broke;
Thus did my love prove true to me.

O, love is handsome, love is fine,
Gay as a jewel when first it's new;
And love grows old, and ever bold,
And shines as bright as morning dew.