MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Bonny Irish Boy
M. Curran NFLD 1 Tape 12A Track 1
Calvert Audio:
Ballad / woman follows lover

Now my love's name for to mention oh in Ireland he was born
I love him so sincerely but alas from me he's gone
Though he's gone to Americay he promised to send for me
But the face of my bonny young Irish boy was nowhere to be seen

Oh it being in Philadelphee that city of note and fame
Where first my bonny young Irish boy a-courting me he came
He told me pleasant stories and he said his bride I'd be
But the face of my bonny young Irish boy was nowhere to be seen

I engaged my passage to New York and on arriving there
To seek and find my Irish boy I quickly did prepare
I searched New York and Providence and Boston all in vain
But the face of my bonny young Irish boy was nowhere to be seen

Oh last night as I lay on my bed I dreamt I was his bride
A-sitting on the bluebell hills as he sat by my side
A-gathering of primroses like the happy days of yore
I woke up broken-hearted in the city of Baltimore


Notes

Sources:   Mercer 102; Laws P26 ("The Bonny Young Irish Boy"); Peacock 560 ; Fowke 1994: 90; Henry 168; Roud 565.

History: Fowke observes that, while the song would seem to be Irish, more variants have been collected in Scotland, as well as both Newfoundland and Ontario.

Text notes: A woman searches for the Irish boy who promised to marry her. In some versions she follows him across the ocean, finds he married another, and dies brokenhearted.

Tune notes: A pentatonic melody in 6/8 metre, in abba' form.

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