MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada


Mr. McDonald NFLD 2 Tape 14 Track 7
Fermeuse Audio:

LEACH: All right

As l went a-walking one evening of late
Where Flora's gay mantle had the fields decorate
My courage did rise when one tidy ___________
They approached me a lassie as bright as the sun

The ribbons and laces all around her did flow
They enchanted McDonald the pride o' Glencoe

I asked her her name and how far she's to go
She answered me young man I’m bound for Glencoe
Now if your affections on me you'll bestow
You will bless the happy hour that we met in Glencoe

Young man she made answer your suit l disdain
For l got a sweetheart McDonald by name
And he's gone to the war ten long years ago
And single I’ll remain till he returns to Glencoe

Now the French and the Spaniards they will soon overthrow
And in splendour he'll return to my arms in GIencoe

Now the power of those Frenchmen tis hard to pull down
And wit' your McDonald it could happen so
That b'y you love dearly perhaps he's laid low
McDonald's true valour when he tried in the field
Like his gallant ancestors disdaining to yield
And wit' your MacDonald it could happen so
That man you loves dearly perhaps he's laid low

McDonald from his promises he will never depart
For love truth and honour is ground in his heart
And if l never sees him tis single I’ll go
I will mourn for McDonald the pride o’ Glencoe

When McDonald found her constant he pulled out a glove
A one she had given him as a token of true love
She hung on his bosom while the tears down did flow
You are welcome McDonald to my arms in Glencoe

Cheer up my dear Flora your waiting is over
And since we have met love we will never part more


Sources: Also known as MacDonald’s Return to Glencoe; Laws N39; Roud 515; Creighton-Maritime, 60 (The Pride of Glencoe); Greenleaf, 1968:174; Greenleaf/Mansfield 86 (Glencoe); Karpeles, 1971:186; Karpeles-Newfoundland 56 (The Pride of Glencoe); Leach, 1965: 310 (Donald’s Return to Glencoe, McDonald’s Return to Glencoe); Leach-Labrador 129 (Glencoe); Peacock, 1965: 579 (The Pride of Glencoe); SHenry H655 p. 319 (The Pride of Glencoe); A further list of references and broadsides is available at the Traditional Ballad Index (; Bodleain, Johnson Ballads 1641 (Donald’s Reutrn to Gencoe) G. Walker (Durham) 1794-1834.

History: According to the Traditional Ballad Index (, this ballad predates its first broadside appearance in 1825.

Text: A young man approaches and attempts to entice a young woman. She rejects him saying that she has been waiting ten years for her sweetheart MacDonald to return to Glencoe. The man attempts to convince her that he is likely dead. When she stands firm in her commitment, the young man reveals that he is her sweetheart by producing a glove she had given him prior to his departure a decade earlier.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The last word is partially spoken. Speaking, instead of singing a final word or phrase is generally thought to indicate Irish influence on the singer or song. The meter is a slow 6/8. The mode is B mixolydian.

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