MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Her Sweetheart

Mrs. Ghaney NFLD 2 Tape 15 Track 6
Fermeuse Audio:

There was a lady in the east her age it was scarce twenty
She had sweethearts of the best both lords and squires plenty
But she adored her father's clerk (?) more than those men of honour
And if kind fortune favoured him forever with him she'd live

As she was walking the hall one day her father chanced to meet her
Are you going to throw yourself away my foolish fond young creature
Are you going to marry a servant man without either birth or breeding
Not a pound or a shilling will you ever enjoy if this is your proceeding

A-falling on her bended knees sayin' father use your pleasure
I’d rather have my Jimmy now than your whole earthly treasure
For l adore my Jimmy dear more than your men of honour
And if kind fortune favours him with him I’ll live forever

There was a table in the hall a fowling piece lay on it
Twas at his daughter's snow-white breast that aim he did present
Before her, her father in the hall, oh she fell a corpse before him
Her last dying words she ever spoke, l will forever adore him

The first come in was a mother dear her daughter’s corpse before her
The fainting fits come on so quick it proved her mother's ruin
In comes Jimmy amongst the lot with his lily-white hands a-wringing
He kissed the blue veins of her breast just where the blood was spilling

Why did you shoot my darling so oh why were you so cruel
Why didn’t you lay that blame on me and spare oh spare my jewel
He took a penknife from his breast saying here I’ll stay no longer
I’ll cut the tender thread of life and with my love I’ll wander

And when her father saw the crime the crime he had committed
He drew his broadside from his side he slayed himself soon after
Those couple were buried in one grave those two young lovers lying
May the God above send down his love and grant us no such trials


Text: A young noblewoman falls in love with a poor servant. Her father does not approve and shoots her. Her mother enters to find her daughter and faints in shock. The lover then arrives and takes his own life with a penknife. Finally, in grief the father also shoots himself. The couple is buried together.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The meter is 4/4. The key is D-flat major with an octave range based on A-flat.

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