MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Forbidden Wedding
John Bulger NFLD 2 Tape 3A Track 3
Trepassey Audio:
Ballad

A sexton sat one Sabbath eve all in his belfry grand
Waiting the signal of the church with the bell rope in his hand
And in the house of worship sat a young and happy pair
To pledge their lives forevermore each other's love to share

The holyman he spoke those words before you will join for life
Are there any o... ____________________________________
Are there any person in this church can say against you as man or wife
When quickly down the aisle there came a man with quick and eager step
And pointing to the trembling bride those words he calmly said

Those wedding bells shall not ring out l swear it of my life
For we were wedded years ago and she is still my wife
She shall not break her vows to me she's mine through all eternity
She's mine till death will set us free those bells shall not ring out

The minister was speechless the bridegroom stood amazed
The congregation spellbound stood when they thought the man was crazed
The bride she hadn’t a word to say but simply hung her head
Who is that man the preacher cried l know him not she said

Then ring the bells the bridegroom cries the man knelt to entreat
He scarce had flung the chimes aloft when the bell rang loud and sweet
But scarce the music had begun when hark there came a shout
Stand back l swear this shall not be those bells shall not ring out

She says she do not know me now but how can she forget
The village price that happy home and that first time~ we met
And how in our childhood days to __________ we used to roam
And when we grew to manhood state she vowed she'd love me so

Just then he wove a gleaming eye a hush a flush ______ at her
And like the lightning flashed a blade and he pierced her tender heart
He killed the bride Oh God he cried and he pierced his own heart too
And as his lips went cold in death those were the words he said

Those wedding bells shall not ring out l swear it of my life
For we were wedded years ago and she is still my wife
She shall not claim another's hand she shall not break the Lord’s command
A guilty bride to see her stand those bells shall not ring out


Notes


Text: A young couple is exchanging their vows at a wedding ceremony when a stranger enters the church and declares that the bride is already married to him.   In a fit of jealously and anger the disgruntled stranger kills the bride and then he kills himself.

Tune: A beautiful major tune in ABAC form with disjunct leaps of an octave at the beginning of phrases one and three.   The performance is rhythmically free but the metre is fundamentally a duple one.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.