MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Wexford Girl

Performed by Gerald Aylward Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 5 Track 3
Community: Cape Broyle Audio: Yes
Genre: Ballad / seduction-murder Laws P5

Transcription

In Wexford city there lived a lady
The truth to you I make known
It was by her own servant and he was courting
And he ofttimes told her that he loved her so

He says, "My dear come and let us marry
Come and let us marry my true love," said he
"For I'm afraid oh that you will slight me
Go with some other your fancy be."

She says, "My dear I'm too young to marry
Too young to be your own marriage belle
For when you're married you're bound forever
All trials and sorrows you must apprehend."

A short time after this pretty fair one
Was invited out to a ball you know
This jealous young man soon followed after
And there prepared for her overthrow

As she was dancing all with another
Those jealous thoughts came in his mind
For to take the life of his own true lover
This jealous young man was well inclined

A glass of liquor he then got ready
And mixed it up in a glass of wine
He gave it to his own true loved one
Who drank it off in his health so fine

Soon as she drank it soon then she felt it
"Oh carry me home my true love," said she
"For that glass of liquor which you just gave me
Makes me as ill as ill can be."

As they were walking along together
Those jealous words unto her did say
"It was in your liquor I put strong poison
To take your innocent sweet life away.

"I drank the same oh my dearest loved one
Sure I must die love as well as thee."
In each other's arms they died together
Young men beware of court jealousy


Notes

 

Sources: also called "Wexford Girl" and "Wexford City"; Mercer 193; Laws P35; Peacock 634. Creighton 1971:194, Brewster 204; Cox 311; MacKenzie 293; or Morris 336; Roud 263. A variant of the seduction murder theme with the same title was also collected by Leach from Patrick Power, also of Cape Broyle.

History: Some folklorists relate this song to a British broadside, entitled "The Berkshire Tragedy," that dates from ca 1700. But similar narratives exist in many traditions (see http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch.html).

Text notes: A seduction- murder ballad, here involving poisin. In some other variants, such as the one published by Peacock, the nature of the crime differs and perpetrator of the crime is hanged. .

Tune notes: The melody is in triple metre and a major key. The form is aaab. This tune bears no resemblance to 8A/3.

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