Banks Of Panama (MacEdward Leach)

See also: The Banks Of Penmanah
(MacEdward Leach)

It was on a pleasant evening
in the lovely month of June,
I took a walk from camp, my boys,
all nature was in bloom;
I took a walk from camp, my boys,
to view the scenery 'round,
And 'twas there I spied an Indian girl
a-sitting on the ground.

She did not seem to notice me
until I drew quite near,
I said, "My pretty Indian girl,
what are you doing here?
You do surprise my very eyes
although you are a squaw,
Tell me why you're so lonely
on the banks of Panama."

"Draw near to me, kind sir," she said,
"and I will tell you all,
My brother and my sister died
when I was very small;
My brother and my sister died,
likewise my paw and maw,
And that's why I'm so lonely
on the banks of Panama.

"And that was not the worst of all,
a sweetheart he was mine,
He was the greatest scout
that rode the British borderline;
He courted me, he flattered me,
he said I was his squaw,
Then he left me here heart broken
on the banks of Panama."

I said "My pretty Indian girl,
come along with me,
I'll take you to a happy home
in a paleface counteree;
I'll dress you up in silks so fine,
the best you've ever saw,
And no more you'll need to wander
on the banks of Panama."

"Oh, no, no, no, kind sir," she said,
"it's a thing I'll never do,
I made a vow to live and die
with the reindeer and the doe;
Since my paleface broke his oath
and I am but a squaw,
I made a vow to live and die
on the banks of Panama."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an original North American ballad, On The Banks Of The Pamanaw [Laws H11] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964/1950) ....####

Lumber camp song sung by Nicholas (Nick) Paddy Maher [1893-?] of Flatrock, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

MacEdward Leach also collected a variant published as #95, Banks Of Panama, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was collected in 1960 by Kenneth Peacock from Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, and published as The Banks Of Penmanah in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.424-425, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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