The Branch Hero (MacEdward Leach)

As I roamed out one morning,
In the lovely month o' May,
I met a noble fisherman,
Those words to me did say:

"Will you ship, young girl,
And come to Branch up in St Mary's Bay?
Oh, Branch, it is a lovely place,
It's the best on Newfoundland;
It far exceeds the metrop'lis,
Or the ground whereon you stand;
Young men and women there's plenty there,
And you can sport and play,
And you'll never leave that place
Called Branch up in St Mary's Bay.

"There is seven pounds for six long months,
And sign this very day,
And in four and twenty hours I'll land you
In Branch up in St Mary's Bay.
Oh, Betsey, lovely Betsey,
I got a splendid boat,
With men well fitted out for sea,
Wit' canvas spars an' rope;
I have two women passengers
To accompany you on that way,
And you'll never leave that place
Called Branch up in St Mary's Bay."

I settled wit' him that very day,
Wit'out any more delay,
An' I roamed down to view his craft,
Likewise his noble crew;
I thought they were Montgomery,
Or the ruler of the sea,
They were never born in Newfoundland,
Or yet St Mary's Bay.

Oh, that very night we put to sea
Wit' a sweet and a pleasant gale,
The gale increased as the night came on,
It drove us miles to sea;
An' to my surprise I never saw Branch
Or yet St Mary's Bay.

Now, if you meet wit' a Branch hero,
Please ask him what's his name,
If it's English or French,
Please treat him wit' the same;
Toss their bodies overboard,
Let their ghosts go to the Red Sea,
Where he'll never come to Newfoundland
To disappoint either you or me.

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland ballad ....####

Collected in 1951 from Mrs Thomas (Anastasia Ryan) Ghaney [1883-1959] of Fermeuse, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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