MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Black sheep
Cyril O'Brien NFLD 2 Tape 4 Track 3
Trepassey Audio:
Ballad

Female voice: Okay...Go ahead
O'Brien (sings):

In a little village not so very far away
They dwelled an old and aged man his locks were few and grey
He had 3 sons 3 only ones both Jack and Tom were sly
And Ted was honest as could be and would not tell a lie

They began their work to ruin Ted till in the old man's eyes
The poison soon began its work and Ted was much despised
Until one night he said be gone you heartless from the door
These were the words the black sheep said as he stood in the door

Don't be angry with me Dad don't turn me from your door
I know that l was wayward but l won't be anymore
Just give me another chance and put me to the test
You'll find the black sheep loves his Dad far better than the rest

On (Coughs, speaks) That'll spoil me now
Female voice: That's all right. No, go ahead... that won't spoil
Leach: All right
Female voice: Go on
O’Brien (sings):

Time has passed so swiftly that the old man's now grown old
He calls both Jack and Tom to him and gives them all his gold
Saying l only want a little room and place at you Fireside
One night on Jack's returning home he brought with him his bride

The wife began to hate the old man more and more each day
One night he hear the 3 declare this old fool's in the way
They all agreed to send him to a poorhouse that was near
And like a flash the black sheep’s words were ringing in his ear

Don't be angry with me Dad don't turn me from your door
I know that l was wayward but l won't be anymore
Just give me another chance and put me to the test
You'll find the black sheep loves his Dad far better than the rest

The wagon drives up to the door that is the poorhouse van
The brother's pointing to their Dad saying now there is your man
But then a manly form appears and pushes through the crowd
Stop ye brutes the stranger cried this will not be allowed

You took the old man's property and all that he could save
You even sold that little plot containing his wife's grave
I am your son but not your kin from this till judgement day
The father caught the black sheep's hand the crowd did hear him say

Don't be angry with me lad though I’ve turned you from my door
I know that I was foolish but l won't be anymore
Just give me another chance just put me to the test
For I found the black sheep loves his Dad far better then the rest


Notes


Sources : Fuson, pp. 79-80; Catskills 105; Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 173-174; Roud #4282

History : Found in the Appalachians and Maine in the United States and in Newfoundland, Canada.

Text: An old man has three sons, Jack, Tom and Ted.   Jack and Tom plot to send their kind brother, Ted away.   The father turns is back on good Ted and gives everything to his other two sons.   The evil brothers take their father's money and land and send him to the poorhouse.   The good son, Ted interferes with his brother's evil plan and rescues the father who shows remorse for sending his good son away.

Tune: The performance of this major key tune is rhythmically flexible.   The metre is probably 6/8.   The tune is characterized by disjunct leaps in the melody; it dips down to the fifth degree of the scale in each phrase and from there jumps up to the higher range.

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