“The Water Is Wide” is a Scottish ballad, based on lyrics that partly date to the 1600s. It has seen considerable popularity through to the 21st century. Cecil Sharp published the song in Folk Songs From Somerset (1906). It refers to the ostensibly unhappy first marriage of James Douglas (second Marquess of Douglas) to Lady Barbara Erskine. If the lyrics are to be believed, in 1681 the rumour mills were abuzz that Erskine had been having an affair with someone, and Douglas promptly dropped her. Her father took her home and she never remarried. Over the years, the song has been recorded by many artists, including the likes of legendary Irish singer Bob Dylan.