MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Maria and Caroline
Mrs. Ambrose Coombs NFLD 2 Tape 4A Track 5
Biscay Bay Audio:

Leach: All right
Mrs. Coomb (Sings):

Come all young men and maidens come listen to my song
I’ll tell you of two pretty fair maids it won't delay you long
In a lonesome spot near Folkestown this dreadful deed it was done
Maria and sweet Caroline were murdered by Alan Young

He went unto their parents' house at ten o'clock that night
But little did sweet Caroline think he hold (?) her in his spite
Will you take a walk sweet Caroline, this villain he did say
And she agreed to accompany him all for a walk next day

Said the mother to her daughter you’d better stay at home
For it's not safe for you to walk with that young man alone
You'd better take your sister Maria 'long with you
And I’ll have no objections dear daughter you may go

Twas early the next morning just at the break of day
Maria and sweet Caroline far over the hills did stray
In a lonesome spot near Folkestown this villain drew his knife
Maria and sweet Caroline he took away their life

He stripped the clothes all from their back whilst underneath was found
He kissed their tender pale cold lips as they lay on the ground
He bid farewell sweet Caroline to this world l am undone
Now l must die for murder far from my happy home

Male voice (spoken):
Now early the next morning

Leach: First try this one verse...that's all right
Mrs. Coombs (sings):

When the news it reached their parents' house they cried what shall we do
Maria she is murdered and lovely Caroline too
They wrung their hands and tore their hair in sorrow and surprise
The tears rolled down in torrents all from their aged eyes

Twas early the next morning their bodies they were found
In a lonesome spot near Folkestown, lay bleeding on the ground
If ever you chance to go that way, in letters there you'll find
So deep lies in the grass so green, Maria and Caroline

This villain he was taken his own life for to try
He first was sent to London and there condemned to die
Now come all-young men take warning by this sad rate of mine
And always do remember Maria and Caroline.

(Speaks) l think l had some verses…


Sources: Greenleaf, 1968: 125 (“The Folkstone Murder;” “The Murder of Caroline;” “Maria”); Leach, 1965: 50 (“Mary and Caroline”); Kennedy, 320; Roud #897
From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Bonnell, Frederick MUNFLA 69-28; Halpert, Herbert MUNFLA 71-50; Dawe, Audrey L. MUNFLA 73-89
History: According to the Traditional Ballad Index (, Caroline and Maria Beck were murdered in Folkestone on August 3, 1856.  Variants including “The Folkestone Murder” are found in England and Newfoundland.
Text: Two young sisters, Maria and Colleen, are murdered by Alan Young outside their home near Folkestown.  Their family grieves for their loss and the murderer is sent to London and is condemned to death.
Tune: The form is ABCD.  The tonality is major and the metre is 6/8.

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