The Young Mountie's Prayer (P Roy & R Clark) video
#1897: YouTube video by rwoodrow58 ©2011
~ Used with permission ~

Way up in the far north country,
In a place called Arroyo;
'Twas there I met my brother,
His story you will know.

We were best pals from childhood,
And times he rode by my side;
I'll tell you first how he lived, boys,
Then I'll tell how he died.

We were boys together,
I remember how we cried;
I was only seventeen,
He, ten, when Mother died.

Jack grew up as a cowboy,
Could ride and rope with the best;
But he fell in with evil companions,
In the fur-trapping business out west.

One day when he came from his trap-line,
He wasn't surprised when he saw;
A red-coated ranger in the doorway,
For he knew he had broken the law.

In a cabin in Canada's Rockies,
Where there's nothing but beauty and trees;
Jack took the life of a ranger,
A Canadian Mounted Police.

The captain then called me beside him,
Said, "Rod, you're not to blame;
Before that young ranger died, son,
He mentioned your young brother's name."

"I hope that Jack isn't guilty,
But I'll get him if I can;
I'll leave here with your orders,
A Mountie will get his man."

For days and days I trailed him,
Broken, disgusted, and sad;
He finally left me a letter,
Saying, "Rod, you'll take me in dead."

I finally found his trail, boys,
From tracks they left in the snow;
They led to a little log cabin,
Back to our old Arroyo home.

I told him to surrender,
His answer to me was in lead;
I fired three shots in the darkness,
And my little brother lay dead.

O, Mother in heaven, forgive me,
For sending the boy to his grave;
And God up in heaven, I'm grateful,
You've answered this young Mountie's prayer.

####.... Pete Roy and C Raymond (Slim) Clark ....####
Note: Contributed to GEST through Gerald Saunders who sang this song in Newfoundland in concert with his brother more than fifty years ago when he was ten and his brother seven. Thanks, Gerald (2006).

A variant was collected in 1966 in Winnipeg from Mrs Cecil Anderson, nee Katherine Asham [born c.1920] and her two children, Mrs Pat Anderson Paul [born c.1941] and Austin Anderson [born c.1947] by Edith Fowke and published in Songs Of A Manitoba Family in the Canadian Journal For Traditional Music (1975).

Edith Fowke noted that The Young Mountie's Prayer is another typical country and western number probably learned from a record. Neil Rosenberg informed her that it was recorded by Yodellin' Slim Clark [1917-2000] on Quality 1 180B, and that Don Miller of Port Clyde, Nova Scotia, says the song was written by Pete Roy and C Raymond Clark. Mr Miller noted that the words in the Manitoba text are a bit different than on the record, indicating at least some passage through oral tradition. Mr Rosenberg added that [Slim] Clark also recorded The Mountie's Prayer on a small US label, Palomino 45-1 (a 45 rpm single).

The video above features a live performance of a variant by Richard Woodrow of New Harbour, NL.

See more songs by Richard Woodrow.


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