Lady Margaret (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Lady Margaret (Kenneth Peacock)

And also: Lady Margaret (Peggy Seeger)

Lady Margaret was sitting in her own lone home,
That was built of lime and stone;
Lady Margaret was sitting in her own lone home,
When she heard a dead man's moan.

"Is it my father?" Lady Margaret cries,
"Or is it my brother, John?
Or is it my own true loved Knight Willie,
From Scotland late has come?

"Did you bring to me any token of love,
Did you bring to me any ring;
Did you bring to me any token at all,
That a true love ought to bring?"

"I have brought to you no token of love
Or I brought to you no ring;
But I brought to you my white winding sheet,
That my body was buried in."

"Oh, where is the fine yellow hair,
That once you used to wear?"
"If you were dead as long as me,
Your hair would be just the same."

She took her underskirts one by one,
Just about her knee;
And over the hills on a cold winter's night,
Keeping a dead man's company.

They walked and they talked,
Walked and they talked till the cocks began to crow;
"It's time for the dead and the living to part,
Lady Margaret I must go."

"Is there any room at your head," she said,
"Is there any room at your feet?
Is there any room about you at all
Where I may take a sleep?"

"My father's at my head," he said,
"And my mother is at my feet;
And there's three hellhounds about my side,
Where my poor soul should be.

"One is for my drunkenness,
And the other is for my pride;
And the other is the loving of a fair pretty maid,
And staying out late by night."

She took a cross all from her bosom,
And she smoted him on the breast,
Saying, "Here's a token for you Knight Willie,
God grant you a happy night's rest."

"I'm thankful to you Lady Margaret," he said,
"I am thankful unto you;
If the dead were bound to pray for the living,
Then I am bound to pray for you."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an English traditional ballad, Fair Margaret And Sweet William (Child ballad #77) The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, Sweet William's Ghost, without a known publisher or date, archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 5(1) ....####
Sung by 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).

A collation of variants was collected in 1951 by Kenneth Peacock primarily from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as Lady Margaret in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.390-395, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also recorded as Lady Margaret by Peggy Seeger (Blood & Roses II, 1981).

A variant was also collected in 1930 from Mrs Maude Roberts Simmonds of Glenburnie, Bonne Bay, NL, and published as #9, Lady Margaret (Sweet William's Ghost, Child #77) on page 21 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; and Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).


Index Page
GEST Songs Of
Newfoundland And Labrador


~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here