Fair Jennie On The Moor (MacEdward Leach)

I took a walk one morning
down by some shady side,
The sun was gently rising
and protected of her pride;
I saw a handsome fair one
sitting by her cottage door,
With roses blooming on her cheeks,
fair Jennie on the moor.

I said, "My handsome fair one,
why so early do you rise?"
"I love to take the morning air,
it's lighter than the skies."
We both sat down together
down by some shady side,
I said, "My dear, if you consent
I will make you my bride."

"I have a true love of my own,
gone to some foreign shore,
And I will wait for his return,"
cried Jennie on the moor;
"You have a true love of your own,
pray tell to me his name."
"His name it was young Dennis Ryan,
from New York town he came."

"Your true love's name was Dennis Ryan,
I know him very well,
'Twas fighting at the Alma war
by an angry ball he fell."
Those words were deeply wounding,
like breakers they did roar,
Proud is the man that gains the hand
of Jennie on the moor.

"Since you have been so kind and true,
stand up my love," he cried.
"Behold I am your Dennis Ryan,
here standing by your side;
Come let us be united,
live happy on the shore,
Where bells do ring and birds do sing,
I'll go to sea no more."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Janie Of The Moor [Laws N34] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of A British broadside ballad, Sweet Jenny Of The Moor, published by E M A Hodges (London) sometime between 1855 and 1861, archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3134) ....####

Collected in 1950 from Mrs Peter Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Ray, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Also collected as Janie On The Moor and published in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia by William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] ©1928 Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

Note: The 1854 Battle of Alma was in the Crimean War.


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