MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Duncan MacClain (MacLean)

Duncan MacLean, of North River, Cape Breton, was well known as a local poet and storyteller. He was best remembered amongst his friends for reporting on local events by composing satirical songs. On one occasion, the children of the local school were turned down on their request to have a Christmas tree placed in the corner of the class. George MacLeod, one of the school trustees, along with the teacher, thought that the tree might detract from the young scholars' learning. To compensate for the lack of a Christmas tree, Duncan composed a humorous song for the school Christmas concert. The translation from the Gaelic is as follows:

Do you see that tree in the corner?
Do you see how it is full of candies and toys?
Full of expensive ornaments
Although King James would visit,
He wouldn't find anything improper.
He would be too proud of the youth of the land.
Girls, behave well.
Santa Claus is a bachelor.
Sing to him the song,
"I'll Marry None But You". (Down North: The Book of Cape Breton's Magazine)