MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Matt Ireland
Din Dobbin NFLD 2 Tape 12A Track 1
St. Vincent's Audio:
Ballad

There was a Lord lived in these parts
He’s reared one handsome comely daughter
She fell in love with a young man
That was a servant to her father

Now when the Lord Came this to hear
He swore he’d make him quit the Island
The lady said her heart should grieve
If she should part wit young Matt Ireland

The Lord discoursed his lady fair
One night all in their lonely chamber
He said Matt Ireland I’ll transport
I’m afraid my child she stands in danger

The lady gained (?) in ambush lay
Pressed wit’ grief she went [defiantly?]
She said my daddy I’ll deceive
And I’ll protect my young Matt Ireland

Straightway unto her love she go
And ordered him for to awaken
Sayin arise my dear and go your way
This very night you shall be taken

Last night l heard my dada say
In spite of fate he would transport you
So arise my dear and go your way
You know my darling l adore you

How can I go my dear he say
Just like a poor forlorn stranger
To leave my service it would be disgrace
Likewise to go and leave my wages

Here's sixty pounds in gold she say
It is more than my father owes you
Arise my dear and go your way
I wish to the Lord I was gone before you

As they sat down on his bedside
It was for the space of a half an hour
And not one word these couple spoke
But down their cheeks the tears did hover

She laid her head down on his breast
Around his neck her arms she twined them
She said no Lord nor duke I’ll wed
I’ll die a maid for you Matt Ireland

Oh many a lord and nobleman
Came to court this healthsome lady
But all their courtship it was in vain
It was to them she took no fancy

Her father asked her the reason why
It was to him she told the token
She said no Lord nor duke I’ll wed
Since you banished from me my young Matt Ireland

I did not know my dear he said
I did not know how dear you loved him
Send for Matt Ireland back again
Since no other man on earth shall guide you

He wrote a letter in post-haste
And for Matt Ireland he was well inclined
To the church next day they crowned all j'ys
He made a lord of young Matt Ireland


Notes


Text: The daughter of a lord and a servant boy, Matt Ireland, fall in love. The lord does not approve of the couple, so the daughter asks Matt to leave before her father chases him away. After he leaves the girl refuses all other offers of marriage. Eventually she explains her love for Matt to her father. He then concedes to the match, sends for Ireland and the couple is wed.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The meter is 2/4 and the key is C major with a range of a major 10th from C to E.

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.