Caroline Of Edinburgh Town (MacEdward Leach) video
#196: YouTube video by Arkybark
℗2014 ~ Used with permission ~

Come all young men and maidens
give ear unto my rhyme,
For it concerns a damsel
that was scarcely in her prime;
She beats the blushing roses
and was admired by all around,
'Twas comely young
Caroline of Edinburgh town.

Young Henry was a highlands man
a-courting her he came,
And when her parents came to know
they did not like the same;
Young Henry he was offended
and this to her did say,
Arise, my dearest Caroline,
and with me come away.

Unto London we will go
and there we'll wed with speed,
And, beautiful young Caroline,
we'll have happiness indeed;
Thus enticed by Henry
she put on her over-gown,
And away went young
Caroline of Edinburgh town.

Over hills and lofty mountains
together they did roam,
And at length in London
they carries from their home;
She says, now dearest Henry,
never on me frown,
Or you'll break the heart of
Caroline of Edinburgh town.

They had not been in London
more than a half a year,
When hard-hearted Henry
to her he proved severe;
Cries Hen-e-ry, I'll go to sea,
your parents did on me frown,
So make your way
without delay to Edinburgh town.

The fleet are setting out tonight
and the dew is dropping down,
And I will go and join the fleet
to fight for king and crown;
Those jolly tars may feel the sword
or in the ocean drown,
But yet I never will
return to Edinburgh town.

Concealed beneath a spreading oak
this maid sat down to cry,
A-watching of those gallant ships
as they would pass her by;
She gave three cries for Henry
and plunged her body down,
And a floating went young
Caroline of Edinburgh town.

A note, likewise a locket,
was picked up on the shore,
And in the note a lock of hair,
those words: I am no more;
I'm in the deep now fast asleep
as the fish go swimming 'round,
Once comely young
Caroline of Edinburgh town.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Caroline Of Edinburgh Town, [Laws P27] American Balladry From British Broadsides, pp.91-92 (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, Poor Caroline Of Edinburgh Town, published by J Catnach (London) sometime between 1813 and 1838, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3065). Also a variant of Carroline of Edinborough Town, published by P Brereton (Dublin) sometime between 1860 and 1870, and archived at the National Library of Scotland, shelfmark: APS.3.96.25 ....####

This variant collected in 1951 from Michael (Mike) Molloy [1893-?] of St Shott's, 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 in 1976 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from Michael Francis (Mike) Keough [1919-1994] of Plate Cove, NL, and published as #16, Caroline From Edinboro (Edinburgh) Town, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.27-28, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

The video above features a variant beautifully sung by the young Irish-Scottish-Canadian group The Outside Track. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton and Vancouver, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on its foundation.


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