Banks Of The Silver Tide (MacEdward Leach)

It's of a beautiful damsel
who lived near the seaside,
She was comely tall and handsome,
and called the village pride;
Until a bold sea captain
young Mary's heart did gain,
Too true she was to honour him
while on the storming main.

It being in Henry's absence,
a nobleman there came,
To make love to Mary,
but she refused the same;
"Your vows are in vain,
whilst on the main there's one alone,
Therefore begone! I love but one,
he is on the silver tide."

Being mad with perseveration
this nobleman did say,
"To prove your separation
your life I'll take away;
I will watch you late and early
till all alone," he cried,
"And I'll send your body floating
on the banks of the silver tide."

It being scarce three weeks after
when Henry returned from sea,
Seeking for his love Mary
to appoint their wedding day;
"I fear your love is murdered,"
her aged parents cried,
"She proved her own destruction
on the banks of the silver tide."

Young Henry on his pillow
that night could find no rest,
The thoughts of his love Mary
disturbed his wounded breast;
He dreamt as he lay sleeping,
young Mary's corpse he spied,
That was the end of Mary,
died on the silver tide.

Young Henry rose, put on his clothes,
and at midnight went straight 'way,
Seeking for his love Mary
down by the raging sea;
At daybreak in the morning
young Mary's corpse he spied,
He too himself went floating
on the banks of the silver tide.

Right well he knew his own ring
she wore on her right hand,
He next unbound a handkerchief
that put him to a stand;
The name of her murderer was
there in full, he spied,
That was the end of Mary,
died on the silver tide.

This nobleman was taken
and the gallows was his doom,
For the murdering of a virgin
all in her youth and bloom;
Young Henry went distracted
and wandered till he died,
His last words were for Mary,
died on the silver tide.

####.... Variant of an Irish traditional ....####

Sung by Monica Rossiter [1913-2004] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was sung in 1952 by Margaret Chambers Murphy [1923-?] and recorded by Peter Douglas Kennedy [1922-2006] of London & Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, UK, with Sean O Boyle on Folktrax FTX 432, Wild Rover No More - Songs From Counties Fermanagh & Tyrone, trk#3. According to the liner notes, Maggie Chambers worked on a farm belonging to Sean O Boyle's parents, was fond of step-dancing, and married a melodeon player.


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