Johnny Dunlay (Kenneth Peacock)

There's a tree in the greenwood I love best of all,
It stands by the side of Aymer's haunted hall,
It was there where the sunlight falls bright far away
Last we met 'neath its branches, my Johnny Dunlay.

To see his fine form as he rode down the hill,
And the red sunlight shining on his helmet of steel,
His broad sword and charger so gallant and gay,
On that evening of woe for my Johnny Dunlay.

He stood by my side, and the love smile he wore
It brightened my heart, although 'twill be nevermore,
It was to have but one farewell, with speed to the affray,
It was a farewell forever from Johnny Dunlay.

Those fair Saxon soldiers lay hid in the dell,
They burst on our meeting with a wild savage yell,
Their dark leader's life's blood I saw that sad day,
It stained the good sword of my Johnny Dunlay.

My curse on the traitor, my curse on the ball
That stretched my true love by Aymer's haunted hall,
The blood of his brave heart ebbed quickly away,
He died in my arms, my Johnny Dunlay.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a lament ....####

Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Philip J Foley [1905-1982] of Tilting, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.471-472, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that he had not seen this lament in other collections, though it would appear to be Irish in origin. The tune is one of the most beautiful and unusual of the Newfoundland collection.


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