On Friday morn when we set sail
And our ship not far from the land
We there did espy a fair, pretty maid
With a comb and a glass in her hand,her hand, her hand.
With a comb and a glass in her hand.

For the raging seas did roar
And the stormy winds did blow
While we jolly sailor boys were up, up aloft
And the land lubbers lying down below, below, below
And the landsmen lying down below.

Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship
And a brave young man was he
"I've a wife and a child in fair Bristol Town,
But a widow I fear she will be, will be, will be
But a widow I fear she will be"


The up spake the little cabin boy
And a pretty little boy was he
"Oh, I'm more grieved for my daddy and my mam
Than you for your wife may be, may be, may be
Than you for your wife may be"


Then three times round went our gallant ship
And three times round went she
For the want of a lifeboat, all went down
And she sank to the bottom of the sea, the sea, the sea
And she sank to the bottom of the sea.


(English sea shanty, original authorship unknown)

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

--W.B Yeats, "The Mermaid", from A Man Young and Old.

Legends and folk tales tell of marriages between mermaids and land lubbin' humans, with the acceptance of a proposal seen as the death of the non-scaled one. However, Cornwall, England, has supposedly hosted one happy interspecies couple...

A young man named Matthew Trewella sang in the church choir. He had an admirer - a mermaid, who would attend church daily and listen to him from a pew. Being a creature of song herself, she found his sweet voice appealing and, in time, him also.

One day she invited Matthew to join her in the sea, and he followed her gladly into the sparkling ocean. The villagers surmised that that was the end for him... another romance doomed to fail, stick to your own kind, don't get it on with fish... the usual comments.

Of course, they were wrong. A few years later the mermaid boarded a boat and politely asked the skipper to move his anchor. She explained that it was blocking the entrance to her home and she was anxious to get to her children and her dear husband Matthew Trewella.

Aw, a 'love overcoming adversity' (or diversity) story...

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.