MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Mary Ecklan
Leonard Molloy NFLD 2 Tape 18A Track 5
St. Shott's Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: All right.
L. MOLLOY:(sings)

Come all ye fond lovers of Eryin
I 'ope its to me ye'll unfold
And see how I'm left here forlorn
No pleasures in life to behold

I am six months in this sad situation
Bound down in cold irons it's true
For nothing but loving a fair one
I'm afraid l must bid her adieu

When her father found out we were courting
Down in silent ambush he lay
Convening wit' me and my true love
For to hear the last words we would say

She slipped a gold ring on my finger
Saying Jimmy bear me in your mind
And if ever you will roam from this island
I hope you won't leave me behind

They kissed both shook hands and they parted
Intended to meet the next noon
But hard was the heart of her father
He confined my love close in a room

The strong guard of police he got ready
And swore by the ring on my hand
It is for the squire young Dawson
I'm afraid in a trial l will stand (?)

But Mary being loyal and constant
Straightway to my trial she comes
My parents they sat there forlorn
Saying l will protect you dear son

They kindly saluted those nobles
And this unto them she did say
If any of you loved a fair one
Would you like to be banished away

It's seven long years we are courting
I own that l gave him my heart
And nothing but death will ever part us
If me and my Jimmy must part

And now my hard trial it is over
And thanks be to the powers above
And likewise to young Mary Ecklan
It was she bore the armours of love

They dwell near the banks of the Shannon
In love and in sweet unity
May God bless my own darling Mary
The day she proved constant to me


Notes


Sources: Mercer 154 ("Mary Acklin"); Laws M16 ("Squire's Young Daughter"; Greenleaf 1968:169.

Text: Told mostly from the male lover (Jimmie's) point of view, there is one verse near the end that reflect's Mary's perspective. Mary's father opposes the love of Jimmie and Mary. They meet one last time and she gives him a gold ring. Father locks her up and arranges for Jimmie to be banished although at the trial, Mary stands up for her lover. She remains faithful and they are eventually reunited.

Tune: The recording quality is too poor to hear the tune accurately but an abcd phrase structure can be identified.

 

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