MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Deserter
Mrs. Michael Devereaux NFLD 2 Tape 9A Track 2
Trepassey Audio:

LEACH: All right
MRS. DEVEREAUX: I can't think of the first of it.
LEACH: Oh, all right

You tender hearted Christians l hope you lend an ear
To this melancholy story you quickly shall hear
Its of an aged ___________ she reared one only son
He’ll be shot for deserting when the battle it is won

He was tall and handsome his complexion it was fair
His eyes were of a lighter blue whilst dark brown was his hair
And as he looked upon the crowd he hove a heavy sigh
For the honour of my country b’ys I’m not afraid to die

Said the mother unto Jimmy as he was going 'way
It is the breaking of my heart to see you going away
You are my only comfort my pride and only joy
May God return you back again my own dear soldier b'y

He was scarce a week in the battle field when a letter he received
He received a letter in deep black was the seaI
He quickly tore it open these lines before his eyes
Come back come back dear Jimmy just once before l die

'Twas hard to slight a dying wish from his fond mother dear
Before this night is turned in to her bedside I’ll stand near
She pressed him to her throbbing breast crying wit' tears of joy
Oh do l see you back again my own dear soldier b'y

He scarce had time to press her lips when a heavy step was heard
And turning to know the answer an officer appeared
Be gone you cowar'ly rascal from the battle field you ran
You'll be shot for deserting when the battle it is won

Turning from the bedside take care sir what you say
Don't you see my darling mother on her deathbed she is laid
I don't care if you shoot me sir I’ll never leave her side
Until she do recover or in her grave do lie

He scarce had time to defend himself and not'ing more to say
When he called his men around him and they bore him right away
They locked him in a guard house where many had been before
Far far from his dear mother he never seen her more

The officer who put me here he swore away my life
He thinks that he'll gain Mary who is going to be my wife
He thinks that he will gain her when l am dead and gone
But to her Jimmy she'll prove true yes truer than the sun

Early next morning the officer appeared
Saying shoot this cowardly rascal no more of his talk hear
They fired at young Jimmy when a bullet pierced his heart
Far far from his love Mary from her he had to part

The officer retired to Mary straight did go
To prove his own affection it was the cause of all his woe
It was you who shot my Jimmy sir and l to be his bride
She fired and shot the officer he fell dead by her side

(Speaks) It’s long...


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