The Hole In The Wall (MacEdward Leach)

Now, ye laddies and lassies, I pray pay attention,
And listen awhile to a tale I will tell;
It's concerning a dance that we had here last Sunday,
I'll add a few verses to make it go well.

On Saturday night as the crowd they did gather,
To meet there on Sunday or to open the ball;
In a saddle roof house, no names I will mention,
We'll title the harbour: The Hole In The Wall.

On Sunday at noon as the crowd it assembled,
Those young lads and lassies their hearts they were gay;
Now linked to each other they marched on together,
O'er bog holes and marshes they soon made their way.

Now I, being a stranger, sure I followed after,
It was my first year on those high roads you know;
Not here as a boyfriend, I took as a pilot,
To travel those high roads a few years ago.

Now soon as we got there the music starts playin',
And soon as it started, oh, the dance it began;
I saw with one glance that the girls they were plenty,
I think they was average about four to a man.

I says to my boyfriend is this a theatre?
The sights that I saw I could scarcely believe;
Those charming young girls with their gold chains and bracelets,
Their tidy silk dresses just under their knees.

But all jokes aside, boys, they're all the first type, boys,
They'll all go as medium, there's none of 'em small;
There's one lass among 'em, her name I will mention,
And that was fair Flora, the pride of them all.

Now I says to fair Flora, don't you be offended,
For if it be so, your partner I'll be;
You are neat tall and handsome, your figure is gorgeous,
I think there's a two-buckle spring in your knee.

So we danced there all evening, we left off contented,
The faraway girls they got anxious for home;
And some of the boys they got very faint-hearted,
They left 'em to climb up the jungle alone.

There was one more girl was late on arrival,
I think she met weather and had to pull in;
That was the information we got from her boyfriend,
She had been too late to get tea for the men.

Oh, now to conclude and to finish my ditty,
My mind is tormented, no more can I rhyme;
And if you're offended, your temper can mend it,
You might find me back here some day if I get time.

####.... Peter Leonard. Originally published as a Newfoundland broadside ballad ....####

Collected in 1951 from Henry James (Harry) Curtis [1895-1963] of Joe Batt's Arm, 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 published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, Fifth edition, pp.69-70, 1955.

A variant was also collected in 1980 from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #52 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.93-94, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that 'The Hole In The Wall' refers to the village of Little Bona in Placentia, Bay, NL. Mr Peter Leonard composed the song about a dance there one night. Mr Power accompanied him to the dance; the song was made up either that night or very shortly after. In no time at all everybody was singing it.

See more songs by Lehr and Best


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