Though the motif of a chance liaison followed by the contraction of a social disease was a familiar one, folksong collectors in Grainger's time tended not to publish it or even collect it, except in disguised form. The Saucy Rambling Sailor is perhaps the best known example of the genre. This one was phonographed from George Wray in 1906. Mr. O'Shaughnessy characterizes "gallus," in the last verse, as "deserving the gallows." It is perhaps a dialect corruption of "callous."
As a sailor was a-riding all along, in the height of his glory;
As a sailor was a-riding all along, I'll relate to you my story.
Oh, he lit upon a lassie by the way and these words unto her he did say,
"Will you go along of me straight away, a-riding down to Portsmouth?"
"If I was to go along with you, it's I must be married.
If I was to go along with you, it's I must be carried."
But she went along of him straight away, and she lay in his arms until day,
Then she left him all the reckoning to pay, a-riding down to Portsmouth.
Oh, when that she awoke all in the morn, and found her love was snoring,
These words unto herself she then did say, "You shall pay for your wooing.
All the money that you haven't spent in wine, well, the rest of it, it shall now be mine,"
Then she left the jolly sailor for to pine, a-riding down to Portsmouth.
And when that he awoke all in the morn, and found his love was missing,
These words unto himself he then did say, "I have paid for my kissing.
She has robbed me of my gold watch and purse; she has given to me something ten times worse.
Don't you think that I've a reason for to curse, a-riding down to Portsmouth?"
"Oh, landlord, what have I got to pay, that I might reward you?
Oh, landlord, what have I got to pay, that I might regard you?
There's my little horse, I leave it into pawn, until that from the wars I do return,
Then those gallus, gallus girls I will shun, a-riding down to Portsmouth."