Song – John Riley

WRITER

  • Bob Gibson

PUBLISHER(S)

  • Robert Josiah Music
  • Grove Park Music

Song Licensing information

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

Song Notes

Bob’s adaptation of this traditional song has become the definitive version, recorded by a stellar list of proteges.

LYRIC

John Riley

A fair young maid in a garden
Strange young man come ridin’ by
He said, “Fair maid, will you marry me”
This then, sir, was her reply

No, kind sir, I cannot marry thee
For I’ve a love who sails all on the sea
And he’s been gone for seven years
Still he will return to me

But what if he’s in some battle slain
Or if he’s drowned in the deep salt sea
Or if he’s found another love
He and his love both married be

If he’s in some battle slain
Then I shall die when the moon doth wane
If he’s drowned in the deep salt sea
Still I am true to his memory

If he’s found another love
He and his love both married be
I wish them health and happiness
Where they live across the sea

He picked her up in his arms so strong
And kisses gave her one, two, three
Saying, weep no more, my own true love
I am your long lost John Riley

Weep no more, my own true love
I am your long lost John Riley

Words & music by Bob Gibson and Ricky Neff
© Robert Josiah Music

John Riley

by Bob Gibson | Joy Joy - The Young & Wonderful