Erin's Lovely Home (MacEdward Leach)

When I was young and in my prime,
my age scarce twenty-one,
I acted as a servant unto a gentleman;
I served him true and honest
and very well it's known,
But through cruelty they banished me
from Erin's lovely home.

The reason that they banished me
I mean to let you hear,
I own I loved his daughter
and she loved me so dear;
She had large stores of riches
but riches I had none,
And that is why they banished me
from Erin' s lovely home.

'Twas in her father's garden
all in the month of June,
While picking of the flowers
all in their youth and bloom;
She said, my dearest William,
if along with me you'll roam,
We'll bid adieu to all our friends
at Erin's lovely home.

I gave consent that very night
along with her to go,
Far from her father's dwelling
which proved my overthrow;
The night being bright by the moonlight
as we set out alone,
And thinking we'd get safe away
from Erin's lovely home.

But to our sad misfortune,
I mean to let you hear,
And in a few hours after,
her father did appear;
He marched me back to gaol
in the county of Tyrone,
From there I was transported
from Erin' s lovely home.

And there I lay under sentence
before I sailed away,
My love she came into the gaol
and this to me did say:
Cheer up, my dearest William,
it's you I'll not disown,
Until you do return again
to Erin's lovely home.

And when I heard my sentence passed,
it grieved my heart full sore,
The parting from my own true love
did grieve me ten times more;
There's seven links upon my chain
and every link a year,
Before I can return again
to the arms of my dear.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Erin's Lovely Home [Laws M6] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a mid-19th century British broadside ballad, Erin's Lovely Home, published by A Ryle and Co (London) sometime between 1845 and 1859, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(1087) ....####

Collected in 1951 from Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] 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 by MacEdward Leach [1897-1967] and published as #10 in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast (National Museum Of Canada, Ottawa, 1965).


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