Barney (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Barney Flew Over The Hills To His Darling
(MacEdward Leach)

'Twas a cold winter's night as the tempest was snarling,
The snow like a sheet, covered cabin and stile;
When Barney flew over the hills to his darling,
And tapped at the window where Kathy did lie.

"Adieu!" cried he, "Are you sleeping or waking?
The night's fair cold and my coat it is thin;
The storm it's a-brewin the frost it's a-bakin',
Kathleen, mavoureen, you must let me in."

"I'm accursed," cried she as she spoke through the window,
"Would you be taking me out of my bed?
To come at this time it's a shame and a sin, too,
'Tis whiskey not love that's got into your head."

"If your heart it was true of my fame you'd be tender,
Consider the time and there's nobody in;
Oh, what have a poor girl but her name to defend her?
Oh Barney, mavoureen, I won't let you in."

"I'm accursed," cried he, "if my heart was a fountain,
I'd side for your arms it might lie at your door;
If your heart was as white as the snows on the mountain,
And Barney would die to preserve it as sure.

"I'll go to my home though the wild winds hit me,
I'll whistle... I'm happy within;
And the words of my Kathleen will comfort and bless you,
Oh Barney, I won't let you in."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Barney And Katie [Laws O21] American Balladry From British Broadsides, p.235 (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Katty Avourneen, published by J Moore (Belfast) sometime between 1846 and 1852, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadsie Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 26(303) ....####

Sung in 1950 by Patrick (Pat) Joseph Sullivan [1880-1959] of Calvert, Ferryland District , NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach and published as #26, Barney Flew Over The Hills To His Darling, in Folk Songs And Ballads Of The Labrador Coast, p.88, by the National Museum Of Canada (Ottawa, 1965).


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