MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Bad Companions
Mary Dunphy NFLD 2 Tape 1 Track 6
Tors Cove Audio:

Leach: Okay

Mary Dunphy: (Sings)

Come all you young companions and listen unto me
I’ll tell you all a story of some bad company
I was born in Pennsylvania among the beautiful hills
And the memories of my childhood is warm within me still

I did not like my fireside; I did not like my home
I had in view for rambling and far away did roam
I bade adieu to loved ones. To my home I said farewell
And l landed in Chicago in the very depths of hell

It was there I took to drinking I ________ both night and day
And still within my bosom this feeble voice would say
Oh fare you well my loved one may God protect my boy
May God forever bless him throughout his manhood joy.

I courted a fair young maiden. Her name I dare not tell
For if I should ever disgrace her while now I’m doomed to hell.
It was on a beautiful evening the stars were shining bright
And with a fatal dagger I bade her spirit flight

So justice over took me as you may plainly see
My soul is doomed forever throughout eternity
Oh now I’m on the scaffld my moments...

…………Rest of this song is obscured by noise on tape


Sources: Alternate title "I was Born in Pennsylvania"; Laws E15 ("Young Companions"); Roud #786; Randolph 161, ("Taney County"); Randolph/Cohen, pp. 153-155, ("Taney County"); Hudson 109, pp. 248-249, ("Youth's Companions")

Text: The singer invites his listeners to hear his sad story of leaving home, drinking, reminiscing, and courting that ends with his fateful action of murdering his lover.

Tune: A four line stanza with phrase repetition ABAB.   The singer modulates to the dominant in phrase two of some verses creating an ABAC form for these.   The metre is 6/8 with rubato employed and the key is major.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.