The Sands of Dee

words Charles Kingsley (1819–75), music ?1964 Gordon Bok

        I learned this poem as a child and in a fit of teenage savagery edited it rather severely. I probably should have recorded it back “then,” but I only remembered it a couple of years ago.

"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee";

The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.
The western tide crept up along the sand,
And o'er and o'er the sand,
And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see.

The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
And never home came she.
"Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
A tress of golden hair,
A drowned maiden's hair
Above the nets at sea?

Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stakes on Dee."
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,
To her grave beside the sea:

But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee.

Sands of Dee is recorded on the CD Then and Now
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