MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Erin's Lovely Home
Frank Knox NFLD 2 Tape 19 Track 1
St. Shott's Audio:
Ballad

When l was young and in my prime my age scarce twenty-one
I acted as a servant unto a gentleman
I served him true and honest and very well it's known
But through cruel-i-ty they banished me from Erin's lovely home

The reason that they banished me I mean to let you hear
I own I loved his daughter and she loved me so dear
She had large stores of riches but riches l had none
And that is why they banished me from Erin' s lovely home

Twas in her father's garden all in the month of June
While picking of the flowers all in their youth and bloom
She said my dearest William if along with me you'll roam
We'll bid adieu to all our friends at Erin s lovely home

I gave consent that very night along with her to go
Far from her father's dwelling which proved my overthrow
The night being bright by the moonlight as we set out alone
And thinking we'd get safe away from Erin's lovely home

But to our sad misfortune l mean to let you hear
And in a few hours after her father did appear
He marched me back to gaol in the county of Tyrone
From there I was transported from Erin' s lovely home

And there l lay under sentence before I sailed away
My love she came into the gaol and this to me did say
Cheer up my dearest William it's you I'll not disown
Until you do return again to Erin's lovely home

And when I heard my sentence passed it grieved my heart full sore
The parting from my own true love did grieve me ten times more
There's seven links upon my chain and every link a year
Before I can return again to the arms of my dear (?)


Notes


Sources: Roud 1427; Laws M6 ("Seven Links on My Chain") ; Henry H46; Mercer 117; Leach 1965: 48. Alternate title, "Old Erin's Lovely Vale."

History: A number of mid-19 th -century English and Scottish broadsides printed this ballad.

Text: A servant man falls in love with his employer's daughter. They elope but the father apprehends them and arrests the young man. He is convicted for seven years, but his love promises to be faithful.

Tune: A classic arch-shaped "abba"  tune in 4/4 time which is sometimes stretched to better narrate the text. The scale is major.

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