Johnny Doyle (MacEdward Leach)

It being of a fair maid that was wandering in love,
Keeping all her secrets to the great God above;
Keeping all her secrets thinking it was time,
To be rolled in the arms of her own Johnny Doyle.

It being on one Sunday evening we made out the plan,
To be here Monday morning to be carried on;
But the servant girl been listening to all we did say,
Went straight to my momma and gave us away.

She locked me in my room so neatly and so high,
Where no one could hear me or pity my sad cry;
She sent for Willie Coleman to come and marry me,
A man that I hated and didn't want to see.

We rode along together till we came to Cloudy Town,
The church gates they were open and the clergy he came down;
I gave to him my hand with a great deal of toil,
But I'd far sooner marry my own Johnny Doyle.

I got into the carriage, with my brother I drove home,
Saying, "Momma, dearest Momma, will you take me to my room?
Willie Coleman'll never enjoy me nor call me his wife,
For I do intend sometime to put an end to my life."

It being early next morning this maid she was found dead,
With Johnny Doyle's silk handkerchief tied around her head;
And when she was dying it was, "Johnny dear, farewell,
There is more between you and I than any tongue can tell."

The day of Mary's funeral it was a glorious sight,
Four and twenty fair maids all dressed in white;
They brought her to St Mary's church and laid her in the soil,
And there lies the darling of young Johnny Doyle.

####.... Variant of an 1857 British broadside ballad, Johnny Doyle [Laws M2] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, Johnny Doyle, published by H Such (London) sometime between 1863 and 1885, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth c.18(84) ....####

Sung in 1950 by Raymond Noseworthy [1914-1985] of Pouch Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A very similar variant (B) was collected in 1951 by Kenneth Peacock from James Heaney [1886-1962] of Stock Cove, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 3, pp.687-690, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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