Peter Amberly (MacEdward Leach) MIDI, video

See also: Peter Emberley (Edith Fowke)
#64: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
©2008 ~ Used with permission ~

midi   alt: midi2

My name is Peter Amberly
as you may understand,
Born on Prince Edward Island
that fair and happy land;
In eighteen hundred and ninety-two
and flowers in their full bloom,
I left my native country
my fortune to pursue.

I landed in New Brunswick
that lumbering country,
I hired to go in the lumbering woods
which proved my destiny;
I hired to go in the lumbering woods
where they cut those tall pines down,
And loading tow-sleds by the yard
I received my mortal wound.

Here's adieu unto my father
as he had drove me here,
I did not like his treatment
I thought it too severe;
Now a father should not press his son
or try to keep him down,
For it oftentimes makes them leave home
when they are far too young.

Here's adieu unto my nearer friend,
I mean my mother dear,
She reared a son how soon he fell
when he left her tender care;
But little did my mother think
when she sang for her boy,
What country I would travel through
or what a death would die.

Here's adieu unto my younger friend
that Island girl so true,
May she live to enjoy her happiness
where I my first breath drew;
The world may go 'round just the same
as it has done before,
What signal finds one mortal soul
when death comes at the door.

Here's adieu unto Prince Edward Island
the garden on the sea,
No more I'll walk the flowery streets
to enjoy a summer breeze;
No more I'll watch those gallant ships
as they go passing by,
With colours flying in the air
above all canvas high.

The danger on the ocean
where angry billows roar,
The danger on the battlefield
where angry bullets fly;
The danger in the lumber woods
where death deems silent there,
Where I had fell a victim to
this great monster fair.

Now, comrades, I am dying,
I have one more word I crave,
Some good and holy clergyman
to bless my peaceful grave;
Being near the city of Boiestown
where my poor body lay,
I'm waiting for our Saviour's call
all on the judgement day.

####.... John Calhoun of Parker's Ridge, NB, winter, 1881. Variant of Peter Emberly [Laws C27] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964) ....####
Collected in 1950 from Patrick Joseph Murphy [1884-1986] of Calvert, 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 collected in 1951 from John Connors [1890-1971] of Placentia, NL, and published as Peter Hennessey in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected by Edith Fowke and published as Peter Emberley in the Penguin Book Of Canadian Folk Songs, 1973.

Another variant was often sung by Mrs Kate (Bill) Wilson of Fox Harbour, NL, and was published for the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL, as Peter Emberley by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL.

The video above features an arrangement recorded as Peter Ambelay by Ryan's Fancy (Times To Remember, trk#10, 1974, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

In spite of dates to the contrary within different variants, Robert B Waltz, editor of The Ballad Index published by California State University (Fresno) notes that according to his tombstone Amberley was born in 1863. He died some time after Christmas Day, 1880.

See more lumber camp songs from NFLD.


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