MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
As I Roved Out One Evening
John M. Curtis NFLD 2 Tape 5 Track 5
Trepassey Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: All right. Let's have the love song.
CURTIS (Sings):

As l roved out one evening in summer
Twas down by the sea aide l carelessly strayed
I spied a young couple escorting [discoursing?] each other.
This innocent virgin to him she did say:
Come tell me in plain young man what do you mean
Of courting I’m weary are you inclined to marry
Or from my fond company you must refrain

He said my pretty fair maid I do very well like you
And in your fond company takes great delight
But sooner than marry l longer will tarry
I’d rather live longer o’fe (?) quite single life
When a man he is wed all joys they are fled
He loses his liberty he's bound down to slavery
So fare you well darling I’ll wish you good night

When you're going to be married love write me a letter
Oh yes my dear darling I’ll do so by thee
And if l am living you shall have what you're wishing
If there's any such thing o its marriage for me
Farewell and adieu l bid unto you
P'raps our parting drives us to promotion
It’s only exchanging the old love for new

Twas home she did go with her heart full of sorrow
Away in the willows sad moan she did make
She dearly loved him she scorned to tell him
And all of the time she lay dying for his sake
And dying she lay a-pining away
Till at length a young squire came for to court her
The son of a nobleman who lived that way

He said my pretty fair maid l very well like you
And in your fond company takes great delight
I have a large fortune twill rise us to promotion
And if you'll agree love I’ll make you my wife
The couple agreed but married with speed
Twas a short courtship as late was recorded
She wrote her old sweetheart a letter in speed

She wrote him a letter and that in a hurry
To come to her wedding on the ninth day of June
And said that he do instead of some other
To tend on the table and on the bride's groom (?)
Those few lines to read caused his heart to bleed
Oh have I lost her yes foolishly lost her

Fair maid have I lost you yes foolish indeed
He saddled his horse and drove off in a hurry
Expecting one sight of his darling to see
But when he went there she was in higher promotion
The tears from his poor eyes like fountains did flow
If l had to know how soon you would go
I’d no longer tarry twas you I’d a married
So step up behind me and leave him alone

Oh do you remember one fine summer's evening
As we were a-walking down by the sea side
Oh yes l remember one Saturday evening
You gave me your offer you suit l denied
It's no matter said she how you slighted me
You're welcome to my wedding but not to my bedding
You're welcome to wait on the squire and me


Notes


History: Great Britain, Newfoundland, Canada.

Text: A young girl asks the man she is courting when he plans to make her his wife.   He foolishly tells her he wishes to live his life as a single man and requests she write him a letter if she plans to marry another for he may then change his mind.   The young girl quickly finds a richer, higher ranking suitor.   She writes a letter to her first love telling him about her engagement and invites him to the wedding.   This letter causes her first love grief; realizing what he has lost he asks her to reconsider her engagement to the rich man and to marry him instead.   In response she says, "you're welcome to my wedding but not to my bedding; you're welcome to wait on the squire and me."

Tune: A four line stanza structure in AABC form with last phrase of each stanza shorter than the other three phrases.   The performance is rhythmically free however it is predominantly a triple metre tune.   The tonality is major.

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