Alexander (MacEdward Leach)

See also: The Duke Of Argyl (Greenleaf/Mansfield)

Fare you well, British girl,
I am now going to leave you,
By the powers above I will never deceive you;
For I must go away to Holland and Flanders,
For I cannot stay, for I'm brave Alexander.

Oh, Alexander dear, dear, don't you talk on going,
For the French in foreign parts
might prove your overthrowing;
You may receive a shot down from some high tower,
Kill you on the spot and there leave your honour.

I'll dress myself up in man's rich apparel,
And I'll go along with you for to guide you in battle;
We'll fight back-to-back in front or in center,
How loudly we'll fight yet boldly we'll conquer.

Our troops went to war well fitted for battle,
Where bullets do fly and loud cannons rattle;
He did receive a shot down from some high tower,
Killed him on the spot and there left his honour.

Oh, lords of high renown came o'er
from yon high mountain,
Tears fell from their eyes
like an ill fed crystal fountain;
For to see a lady gay of high birth and breeding,
How nobly she fought while her hero lay bleeding.

Oh, lords of high renown came over to court her,
Duke Wellington came intending to suit her;
Oh, no, she cried, my noble commander,
None shall I enjoy since I lost Alexander.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Duke Of Argyle [Laws N1] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

This variant was collected in 1951 by MacEdward Leach from Michael Francis Sutton [1914-2002] of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A similar variant was collected in 1966 as Brave Alexander by Herbert Halpert [1911-2000] of St John's, NL, from Alphonsus (Alphonse) J Sutton [1908-1998] of Trepassey, NL, and archived at Memorial University Folklore Archive (MUNFLA), St John's, NL, acc 66-23/tape C233/counter 545.

A similar variant was collected in 1921 as The Duke Of Argyl from Daniel W Endacott [1875-1940] of Sallys Cove, NL, and published as #39 on pp.88-89 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968}.


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