Hembrick Town (Kenneth Peacock)

See also: Katherine Jaffrey (Child ballad #221)

There is a man in Hembrick town,
a man of high degree,
He courted a country girl,
and a comely girl was she;
He got consent from all of her friends,
her father and mother likewise,
But still she cries, "I am undone,"
as the tears rolled from her eyes.

She wrote to him a letter,
and she signed it with her hand:
"I'm going to get married now
unto some other man."
The very first line he looked up
and he smiled and this did say:
"I'll 'prive you of your bride,"
he said, "all on your wedding day."

He wrote her back an answer
to be sure to dress in green:
"A suit of the same I will put on,
to your wedding I'll be seen;
A suit of the same I will put on,
to your wedding I'll appear,
I'll wed with you, my heart's delight,
in spite of all in there."

He then looked east, he then looked west,
he gazed all o'er the land,
Until he spied 'bout eight-score men
out of the British band;
He then mounted on his milk-white steed
and a single man rode he,
Away from Hembrick town he is gone
and his company dressed in green.

"You're welcome in," said a good old man,
"where have you been all day?
Or what may be these eight-score men
that passed along this way?"
He laughed at him, he scoffed at him,
and this to him did say,
"That might have been some fairy troops
had passed along this way."

She then poured out a glass of wine
with a toast go merrily 'round:
"How happy, happy is the man,
the man to enjoy his crown;
How happy, happy is the man,
the man to enjoy his bride,
When another young man that loves her
so well would take her from his side."

Oh, up then speaks this young bridegroom,
and a well-speaking man was he:
"If it is for fighting you came here,
I am the boy for thee."
"It's not for fighting,
but for friendship for to show,
So give me one kiss from your bonny bright bride,
and away from you I'll go."

He took her by the slender waist
and around the grass-green sleeves,
And out of the wedding house he did go
and his company asked no leave;
The bells did ring, sweet music played,
and most gladly to be seen,
And away for Hembrick town he is gone
and his company dressed in green.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a Scottish traditional ballad [Child ballad #221] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) Francis James Child, Editor (Dover, 1964). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, The Squire Of Edinburgh, published by H Such (London) sometime between 1849 and 1862, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(2364) ....####
This variant collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Clarence Bennett [1926-1993] of St Paul's NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, pp.200-201, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock comments:
"In his note on Katherine Jaffrey, Professor Child quotes from a variant recited by an Irish girl then living in Massachusetts. This Newfoundland variant is much closer to the Irish variant than it is to any of the other variants listed by Child. A similar version has also been noted in 1932 from an Irish immigrant living in Vermont."

See more Child Ballad variants from NL.


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