The Banks Of Penmanah (Kenneth Peacock) MIDI

See also: Banks Of Panama (MacEdward Leach)

As I roved out one evening
in the latter part of June,
The sun had just sunk down to rest
and brighter shone the moon;
I took a stroll from camp, my boys,
to view the scenery 'round,
'Twas there I spied an Indian girl
all sitting on the ground.

As I advanced towards her
she did not seem afraid,
So I sat along beside her,
these words to her I said:
"You do surprise me very much
although you are a squaw,
To find you here so lonely
on the banks of Penmanah"

I scarcely gave one look at her
when tears began to fall,
She said, "Young man, draw near to me
and I will tell you all,
My sisters and my brothers died,
likewise my pa and ma,
And that's why I'm so lonely here
on the banks of Penmanah."

"And that is not the worst of all,
the lover who was mine,
He was a bold young British lad
upon the Baltic Line;
He courted me, he flattered me,
and said I was his squaw,
And he left me here heart-broken
on the banks of Penmanah."

"Oh, rise, oh, rise, you Indian girl,
and come along with me,
I'll take you to a happier home
in a peaceful count-e-ry;
I'll dress you up in costly robes
the like you never saw,
And you need no more go lonely
on the banks of Penmanah."

"Oh, no, kind sir," she answered me,
"with you I cannot go,
I made a vow I'd live and die
with the reindeer and the doe;
Since that paleface Briton has broke his oath
and I am but a squaw,
It's here I mean to live and die
on the banks of Penmanah."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a traditional North American ballad, On The Banks Of The Pamanaw [Laws H11] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964/1950) ....####

Lumber camp song collected in 1960 by Kenneth Peacock from Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 2, pp.424-425, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also sung by Nicholas (Nick) Paddy Maher [1893-?] of Flatrock, NL, and published as Banks Of Panama in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

MacEdward Leach [1897-1967] also collected a variant published as #95, Banks Of Panama, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa , 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that as far as he knew this rare ballad has never before appeared in a collection. The fact that the Indian girl's lover was British might indicate a late colonial origin , though the existence of the Baltic Line in colonial times would have to be checked.


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