MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Soldier’s Last Farewell
Marie Hartery NFLD 2 Tape 5 Track 2
Portugal Cove South Audio:
Ballad

The postman delivered the letter
It filled her dear heart with joy
But she didn't know till she read the inside
'Twas the last one from her darling boy.

"Dear Mom," was the way that it started
"I miss you so much," it went on
"Mom, l didn't know that l loved you so,
But I’ll prove it when this war is won.

"I'm writing this down in a trench, Mom,
Don't scold if it isn't too neat,
For you know as you did when l was a kid,
And l came home with mud on my feet.

"The Captain just gave us our orders
And Mom we must carry them through
I’ll finish this letter the first chance l get
But for now I’ll just say l love you."

The mother's old hands began to tremble
As she fought against tears in her eyes
But they came unashamed, for there was no name,
For she knew that her darling had died.

That night as she knelt down by her bedside
She prayed, "Lord above hear my plea
And protect all the sons who are fighting tonight
And may God keep America free."


Notes


Text: A mother reads a letter written by her son while he was fighting in the trenches.   The letter, professing his admiration and love for his mother, is unfinished because he has been killed.   The mother is remorseful and she prays for the safe keeping of all of the remaining sons who continue to fight for freedom.

Tune: Triple meter tune, but performed with a little flexibility.   The scale is major and the melody is characterized by disjunct leaps from the fifth degree of the scale to the tonic and back to the fifth again in phrases one and three.   The form is ABAC.

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