Peter Emberley (Edith Fowke) MIDI

See also: Peter Amberly (MacEdward Leach)
midi1   alt: midi2

My name 'tis Peter Emberley,
as you may understand,
I was born on Prince Edward's lsland
nearby the ocean strand;
ln eighteen hundred and eighty-four
when the flowers were a brilliant hue,
I left my native counterie
my fortune to pursue.

I landed in New Brunswick
in a lumbering counterie,
I hired to work in the lumber woods
on the Sou-West Miramichi;
I hired to work in the lumber woods where
they cut the tall spruce down,
While loading teams with yarded logs
I received a deadly wound.

There's danger on the ocean where
the waves roll mountain high,
There's danger on the battlefield
where the angry bullets fly;
There's danger in the lumber woods,
for death lurks sullen there,
And I have fell a victim
into that monstrous snare.

I know my luck seems very hard
since fate has proved severe,
But victor death is the worst can come,
and I have no more to fear;
And he'll allay those deadly pains
and liberate me soon,
And I'll sleep the long and lonely sleep
called slumber in the tomb.

Here's adieu to Prince Edward's lsland,
that garden in the seas,
No more I'll walk its flowery banks
to enjoy a summer's breeze;
No more I'll view those gallant ships
as they go swimming by,
With their streamers floating on the breeze
above the canvas high.

Here's adieu unto my father,
it was him who drove me here,
I thought he used me cruelly,
his treatments were unfair;
For 'tis not right to oppress a boy
or try to keep him down,
'Twill oft repulse him from his home
when he is far too young.

Here's adieu unto my greatest friend,
I mean my mother dear,
She raised a son who fell as soon as
he left her tender care;
'Twas little did my mother know
when she sang lullaby,
What country I might travel in
or what death I might die.

Here's adieu unto my youngest friends,
those island girls so true,
Long may they bloom to grace that isle
where first my breath I drew;
For the world will roll on just the same
when I have passed away,
What signifies a mortal man
whose origin is clay?

But there's a world beyond the tomb,
to it I'm nearing on,
Where man is more than mortal,
and death can never come;
The mist of death it glares my eyes,
and I'm no longer here,
My spirit takes its final flight
unto another sphere.

And now, before I pass away,
there is one more thing I crave,
That some good holy father
will bless my mouldering grave;
Near by the city of Boiestown
where my mouldering bones do lay,
A-waiting for my saviour's call
on that great Judgement Day.

####.... John Calhoun of Parker's Ridge, New Brunswick, winter, 1881. Variant of Peter Emberly [Laws C27] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964) ....####
This variant was collected by Edith Fowke (Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, 1973).

A variant was collected in 1950 from Pat Murphy [b.1887] of Calvert, NL, and published as Peter Amberly in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected in 1951 from John Connors [1890-1971] of Placentia, NL, and published as Peter Hennessey in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Another variant was a favorite often sung by Mrs William (Katherine {Kate} Murray) Wilson [1893-1979] of Placentia, NL, and published as Peter Emberley by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL, for the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL.

A variant was collected and published in Collier's, Newfoundland, by M P Ryan on pages 1 and 2 of his 1957 book Ryan's Favourites: Old Songs Of Newfoundland.

Notes by Edith Fowke (Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, 1973, p.200):
"This tale of the young man from Prince Edward Island who was fatally injured in the Miramichi woods when a log rolled on him is the favourite ballad of New Brunswick. John Calhoun, one of the men who drove the injured lad down to his employer's home, described his fate in these verses, and a local singer, Abraham Munn, set them to an old Irish tune that has served for many songs both in Ireland and North America... The song is well known along the east coast... and it has also spread to Ontario."

In spite of dates to the contrary within different variants, Robert B Waltz, editor of The Ballad Index published by California State University (Fresno) notes that according to his tombstone Amberley was born in 1863. He died some time after Christmas Day, 1880.

See more lumber camp songs from NFLD.


Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador


~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here