Old Grey Mare (MacEdward Leach)

See also: The Grey Mare (MacEdward Leach)

And also: The Gray Mare (Kenneth Peacock)

Young Johnny the miller has courted of late,
A farmer's fair daughter called beautiful Kate,
Silk ribbons and laces and beautiful gowns,
With all such apparel of many fine things.

Her glittering money and beauty likewise,
Stuck into his fancy and dazzled his eyes,
Then he was avowed to tell her his mind,
Desiring that she might prove loving and kind.

For no other woman could e'er be his wife,
For she was his jewel and joy and delight,
The day was appointed the money was told,
It was a fine present of silver and gold.

Young Johnny unto her father done say,
"I never will marry your beautiful maid,
Although she is beautiful, charming, and fair,
Without the addition of Ted the grey mare."

Her father then answering young Johnny with speed,
"I thought you've been courting my daughter indeed,
And not the grey mare but since it is thus,
My money once more I'Il put in my purse."

"For she is my daughter, I'll vow and declare,
You won't get my daughter nor Ted the grey mare."
Young Johnny began his lot for to tear,
Wishing he never stood up for a mare."

In about a year after or a little above,
He chanced for to meet sweet Katie his love,
He says, "My dear creature, oh, don't you know me?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I've seen you," said she,
"Or some gentle fellow with fine yellow hair,
Who once came a courting my father's grey mare,"

"It was not the grey mare a-courting I came,
'Twas only you, lovely Katie by name,
Not thinking your father would make a dispute,
In dealing with Katie, the grey mare for boot."

"Rather than lose such a beautiful friend,
But now I am sorry for what I have done."
"Your sorrow," says Kate, "I value it not,
There are lots of young men in this world to be got."

"Surely a woman must be on her last prayer,
To marry a man who had courted a mare,
Now as for the price I think it's not great,
So fare you well Johnny, go look for your fate."

####.... ####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Gray Mare [Laws P8] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Grey Mare, published by J Pitts (London) sometime between 1819 and 1844, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11 (1435) ....#### ....####
This variant was collected from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] 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).

Another variant was collected from May Whalen [1915-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as The Grey Mare (Roger The Miller) in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected in 1958 from Levi Everett Bennett [1899-?] of St Paul's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Gray Mare (Roger The Miller) in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.278-279, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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