Young Daniel (Kenneth Peacock)

On April last, the eighteenth day,
Attention give to what I say,
A gun was heard in solemn sound
Like thunder roaring through the ground.

The people hastened to the spot
Where they had heard that mournful shot,
And saw poor Daniel's fatal wound,
A bleeding victim on the ground.

Beside him stood a man and gun
Just as the awful deed was done,
With frantic eyes turned to the ground
He told the truth to all around.

"I just took up this cursèd gun
To snap her off in careless fun,
When this poor boy with spirit large
Came up the hill and met the charge.

"I did not know the load was in
Until I saw him drop his chin,
Oh gracious, wondrous, strange to tell,
He turned from me and down he fell.

"His deathly eyes on me did roll
Just like an arrow pierced my soul,
In dying looks he seemed to say,
'Tim, why have you taken my life away?'"

Go take young Daniel from his gore
And lay him on some barren floor,
And send for justice very soon
And let the jury fill the room.

Go take young Daniel from his side
And with his friends let him abide.
With wringing hands and tearful eyes
He walks the floor and bitter cries:

"It's all I can advise to do,
Take that same gun and shoot me, too,
I wish to God that I were dead,
Where shall I hide my guilty head?"

Come all you young and tender youths
On those few lines I speak the truth,
Take warning by McLennan's son,
Before you trifle with a gun.

####.... Variant of an original Nova Scotia song, McLellan's Son [Laws appendix dG43] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964) composed by the mother of Reverend John Warner of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Thomas (Annie) Walters [1896-1986] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 3, pp.831-832, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Mrs Walters learned this Newfoundland variant from her mother but that is as far back as he was able to trace its history in Newfoundland. Peacock also noted that an eight-verse version of this Canadian ballad called McLellan's Son appears in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia by William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1928) who gives the following note on its background: "This is a native song, made in commemoration of an accidental shooting over half a century ago [circa 1875] in Pugwash. The Reverend John Warner of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, informs me that it was composed immediately after the accident by his mother, who lived in Pugwash and was acquainted with the details."


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