The Green Linnet (Kenneth Peacock) video
#2477: YouTube video by TopicRecords
©2013 ~ Used with permission ~

Curiosity caused a young native of Erin,
To view the gay banks of the Rhine;
When an empress he saw,
and the robes she was wearing,
All over with diamonds did shine.
A goddess of splendor was never yet seen,
Would equal this fair one so mild and serene;
In soft murmurs she said, my sweet linnet so green,
When you're gone I'll never see you no more.

The cold stormy Alps you freely went over,
Which nature placed there in your way;
Marengo Salone around you did hover,
And Paris rejoiced the next day.
It grieves me the hardships you did undergo,
Over mountains you travelled all covered with snow;
The balance of power your courage laid low,
Are you gone, will I ne'er see you more?

The crowned heads of Europe
when you were in splendor,
Fain would have had you to submit;
But the Goddess of Freedom soon bid them surrender,
And lowered their standard of wit.
Old Frederick's colors to France you did bring,
But his offspring found shelter under your wing;
That day in Virginia you sweetly did sing,
Are you gone, will I ne'er see you more?

'Though numbers of men are eager to slay you,
Their malice you view with a smile;
Their gold through all Europe they sold to betray you,
And they joined the Mamelukes on the Nile.
Like ravens for blood their wild passions did burn,
The orphans they slew and caused widows to mourn;
They say my linnet is gone and ne'er will return,
Is he gone, will I ne'er see him more?

When the trumpet of war's grand blast was sounding,
You marched to the north with good will;
To relieve these poor slaves in their vile sack clothing,
You've used your exertion and skill.
You spread out the wings of your envied train,
When tyrants great Caesar's old nest set in flame;
Their own subjects they caused
to eat herbs on the plains,
Are you gone, will I ne'er see you more?

At famed Waterloo where thousands lay sprawling,
On every field high or low;
Fame on her trumpet true Frenchmen were calling,
Fresh laurels to place on her brow.
Usurpers did tremble to hear the loud call,
The third old age building around you did fall,
And the Spaniards their fleet in the harbor did call,
Are you gone, will I ne'er see you more?

I will roam through the desert of wild Abyssinia,
And yet find no cure for my pain;
I will go and inquire on the Isle of St Helena,
But I know they will tell me it's vain.
Come tell me, ye critics, come tell me in time,
This nation I'll range my sweet linnet to find;
Was he slain at Waterloo, or at Elba, on the Rhine?
If he was, I will ne'er see him more.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Maria Louisa['s] Lamentation. The Green Linnet, published by J Catnach (London) and sold by T Batchelar (London) and Bennett (Brighton) sometime between 1813 and 1838, and archived at the Bodlein Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballads 227 ....####

Collected in 1952 from Philip J Foley [1905-1982] of Tilting, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.458-460, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this flowery Irish ode to Napoleon appears almost word for word in a collection of songs and ballads called Irish Come-All-Ye's by Manus O'Connor, (New York, 1901). The singer obviously learned it from a printed version or from somebody who had.

This variant is also extremely similar to a variant from Gale Huntington (Songs The Whalemen Sang, Volume 2, p.66, Ship's Log: 1847, Barre Publishers, Barre, Massachusetts, 1964; reprinted by Dover Publications, 1970).

The video above features a recording of Martin Simpson's variant from his album (Vagrant Stanzas Deluxe Edition, 2013, Disc 2, trk#8, Topic Records TXC5589, Proper Music Group, The New Powerhouse, Kangley Bridge Road, Syndenham, UK, SE26 5AN)


Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador


~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here