"Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience" as written by Tony Callen and Charles Causley....
I had a silver penny
And an apricot tree
And I said to the sailor
On the white quay

Sailor O sailor
Will you bring me
If I give you my penny
And my apricot tree

'A fez from Algeria
An Arab drum to beat
A little gilt sword
And a parakeet?'

And he smiled and he kissed me
As strong as death
And I saw his red tongue
And I felt his sweet breath

You may keep your penny
And your apricot tree
And I'll bring your presents
Back from sea.'

O the ship dipped down
On the rim of the sky
And I waited while three
Long summers went by

Then one steel morning
On the white quay
I saw a grey ship
Come in from sea

Slowly she came
Across the bay
For her flashing rigging
Was shot away

All round her wake
The seabirds cried
And flew in and out
Of the hole in her side

Slowly she came
In the path of the sun
And I heard the sound
Of a distant gun

And a stranger came running
Up to me
From the deck of the ship
And he said, said he

O are you the boy
Who would wait on the quay
With the silver penny
And the apricot tree?

I've a plum-coloured fez
And a drum for thee
And a sword and a parakeet
From over the sea.'

O where is the sailor
With bold red hair?
And what is that volley
On the bright air?

O where are the other
Girls and boys?
And why have you brought me
Children's toys?'

Lyrics submitted by idealrosee

"Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience" as written by Tony Callen Charles Causley

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience song meanings
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    General CommentThe version of this song feat. Natalie Merchant in collaboration with Lunasa is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard. It is a story about a boy who grows into a man during a war. (I'm presuming it to be the 100 Years War in England, but I could be wrong). In the beginning of the song, the boy is hanging out on the docks looking to trade with sailors on a merchant freighter which is about to set sail. A young sailor promises him to bring him a fez, a drum, a sword, and a parakeet. Three years go by, in which time the ship was attacked during it's voyage. The boy is no longer a boy after 3 years but has turned into a man. Keeping to his word, the sailor makes it back with the things he promised the boy, only to find out that the boy doesn't even recognize him anymore, having grown up. The sailor must have been through such an ordeal that it changed his appearance. The young boy who is now a man notices that the children who used to be on the ship are no longer there, which means they either didn't survive the voyage or were captured. This is a song about growing up and forgetting about who you used to be when you were young. How age and experience changes you.
    Joeknob11on September 16, 2018   Link

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