MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Beaches So Green

Mrs. McCarthy NFLD 2 Tape 16 Track 1
Renews Audio:

As l strayed forth one morning in May
Down by the green bushes l chanced for to stray
I spied a fair damsel she appeared like a queen
She was spreading her clothes on the beaches so green

I stepped up close to her and then l did say
Saying you are the fairest that e'er l have seen
It is six months or better since it ran in my mind
That we would be married if you were inclined

To get married, to get married l think I’m too young
Beside all ye young men have a flattering tongue
My Dada and Mama would be angry with me
If l married a rover, a rover like thee

The young man got up and then walked away
Saying you will get better whoe'er they might be
For the sky it looks cloudy I think we'll agree
They shook hands and they parted on the beaches so green

Come back bonny laddie come say you'll be mine
For the last word you spoke love it altered my mind
If it altered your mind love it is all in vain
I’ll go courting some other on the beaches so green

Some marry for riches, the proud haughty way
More marry for beauty the flower will decay
But if e'er l get married its plain ye may see
That the one who proves true is the girl for me


Text: A young man proposes to a young woman.   She turns him down saying that he is a rover and a flatterer, that her parents would not approve.   As the man departs she calls him back, having changed her mind.   He then denies her on the grounds that he wants a woman who will be true.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The last few words are 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 6/8. The mode is A-flat mixolydian or A-flat major with a flattened seventh.

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