The Slaney Side (Kenneth Peacock)

See also: The Slaney Side (MacEdward Leach)

And also: Down By The Tanyard Side
(MacEdward Leach)

I am a rambling hero bold,
by love I am ensnared,
Near to the town of Bolinglass
there dwells a comely maid;
She is fairer than Diana bright,
she is free from earthly pride,
She's a lovely fair maid,
her dwelling place lies near the Slaney side.

I stood in meditation,
I viewed her o'er and o'er,
I thought she was Aurora bright
descending down so low,
"Oh no, kind sir, I'm a country girl,"
she modestly replied,
"I labor daily for my bread
down by the Slaney side."

The golden ringlets of her hair
hung o'er her snow-white neck,
The killing glances of her eyes
would save a ship from wreck;
Her clear brown sparkling eyes,
and her teeth like ivory white,
Would make a body become her slave
down by the Slaney side.

For twelve long months we courted
till at length we did agree,
To consult her aged parents
and married we would be;
But still her cruel father
to me he proved unkind,
Which makes me sail across the sea
and leave my love behind.

Farewell my aged parents,
to you I'll bid adieu,
I'm crossing the wide ocean, dear,
for the sake of you;
And if ever I return again
I will make you my bride,
And I'll roll you in my arms
down by the Slaney side.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Tan-Yard Side [Laws M28] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Tan-Yard Side, published by H Disley (London) sometime between 1860 and 1883, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3956) ....####

Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Philip J (Mary Ellen) [1918-1997] Foley of Tilting, NL, as The Slaney Side and in 1961 from Patrick W Nash [1897-1972] of Branch, NL, as The Tanyard Side both published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.592-593, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the texts of both variants are virtually identical except, of course, for the title phrase. They follow closely the texts in Herbert Hughes' Irish Country Songs and Manus O'Conor's Irish Com-All-Ye's. Unlike many of the English texts, these Irish songs show a surprising similarity from country to country and from collection to collection, even in orally-transmitted variants. It is probably the result of over-publication; or, rather, the saturation of rural areas with popular Irish song books. English, Canadian, and American song books of this type have only recently enjoyed a renaissance, whereas the Irish ones have been with us since the 19th century. The dissemination of traditional material by printed texts seems to run in cycles, and at the present time [1965] we are in the midst of the largest boom in history.

A variant was also collected in 1950 from Mrs Bridget M (Bride) Duggan [1900-1993] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as The Slaney Side in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected from Peter T Molloy [1876-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published as Down By The Tanyard Side in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Note: The River Slaney diagonally divides Ireland's County Wexford in two.

From the Free Dictionary:
Tanyard - enclosure where the tanning of leather is carried on; a tannery.


Index Page
GEST Songs Of
Newfoundland And Labrador


~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here