MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Seamus O'Brien
Performed by Winifred Powers Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 1 Track 8
Community: Tors Cove Audio:
Genre: Ballad / love lost  

Transcription

… through the gardens of night
And the voice of the nightingale singing its tune
While the stars seemed to smile with delight

Old nature now lingers in silent repose
While the sweet breath of summer is calm
And I sit and wonder if Seamus e'er knows
How sad and unhappy I am

Oh Seamus O'Brien why don't you come home?
You don't know how happy I'd be
I've but one darling wish and that is that you'd come
And forever be happy with me

I'd smile when you'd smile and weep when you'd weep
I'd give you a kiss for a kiss
And all the fond vows that I made you I'll keep
What more can I promise than this?

Does the sea have such bright and such beautiful charms
That your heart will not leave them for me?
Oh, why did I let you get out of my arms
Like a bird that was caged and is free?

Oh Seamus O'Brien I'm loving you yet
And my heart is still trusting and kind
It was you who first took it and can you forget
That love for another you'd find

No, no if you break it in silence and pain
I will then have a duty to do
If you bring it to me I will mend it again
And trust it dear Seamus to you

Oh Seamus O'Brien why don't you come home … [Continue as above]


Notes

Recorded by John White (Rodeo RLP-85, 1959); Randolph IV: 259 ("Shamus O'Brien"). Roud 4975.

History: According to Randolph (IV: 259), this song was written by Will S. Hays and published as sheet music in 1867. It may be an answer to an earlier Hays song, "Nora O'Neal" (www.csufrseno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch. html).

Text notes: Woman pines for the return of her lover, Seamus O'Brien.

Tune notes: Performed here in a high register, this is a triple metre tune with pauses often on the second beat. The phrase repetitions are abab'.

 

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.