Since Love Can Enter An Iron Door
(Kenneth Peacock)

It was of a lady was fair and handsome,
Those words are true as I've been told;
In the lofty mansion by the banks of the Shannon
Her father ownèd great stores of gold.

Her hair was black as the raven's feathers,
Her form and features describe who can;
Although her folly belonged to nature
She fell in love wth her servant-man.

As Mary Ann and her love was walking
Her father heard them and nearer drew;
And as those lovers were fondly talking
Her father home in great anger flew.

And as those lovers were fondly planning
Her cruel old father contrived a plan.
He said: "In spite of all the nation
I'll free my daughter from her servant-man."

To build a dungeon was his intention,
A flight of stairs that lay underground;
On bread and water he fed his daughter,
The only cheer that for her was found.

Three tmes a day he did cruelly beat her,
And to her father she then began:
"If I've disgraced now my own dear father,
I'll lie and die for my servant-man."

When Edmund found out her habitation
'Twas well secured by an iron door;
He swore in spite of all the nation
He'd free his dear one or else no more.

So at his leisure he toiled with pleasure
To gain releasement for Mary Ann.
He gained his object and found his treasure,
She said, "You faithful, young servant-man."

'Twas men's apparel he brought his lover,
She dressed herself in men's disguise.
"Depart," said Edmund, "I'll face your father,
To see me here it will him surprise."

Her cruel old father brought bread and water,
And to his daughter he then began.
"Enter," said Edmund, "I freed your daughter,
The one in fault is your servant-man."

When he found that his daughter had vanished
'Twas like a lion then he did roar.
He said, "From Ireland you shall be banished,
Or with my broad-sword I'll spill your gore."

"Agreed," said Edmund, "now at your leisure,
Since her I freed now do all you can,
Forgive your daughter, I'll die with pleasure,
The one in fault is your servant-man."

When he found that he was so loyal,
'Twas down he fell on the dungeon floor.
He said, "True lovers will never be parted
Since love can enter an iron door."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Iron Door [Laws M15] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Thomas (Annie) Walters [1896-1986] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 2, pp.590-591, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Peacock noted that the 'literary' flavour of this ballad indicates a broadside origin. However, the tale itself is probably quite old - fathers who locked their daughters in dungeons or towers were quite a menace in medieval times.


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