Kate Of Branch (MacEdward Leach)
See also: Kate O'Branch (MacEdward Leach)

Ye feeling-hearted people, and likewise children dear,
Ye tender hearted children, I hope ye will draw near;
And hear about the Kate of Branch that lately was run down,
All by an English man-of-war bound down to St John' s town.

The man-of-war that runned us down the Royal it was her name,
Commanded by Captain Butler, to him we'll lay no blame;
It was English stood the morning watch, the lights he did let out,
He was in for losing boat and crew that dark and stormy night.

It being on the fourth day of July, as you may understand,
This boat lay to her anchor just three miles from the land,
While some were on their virgin beds taking a silent sleep,
It was little they thought before the light they'd lay slumbering in the deep.

About a fortnight after, this poor boy he was found,
Mike Murray, coming from Broad Cove, young Daley's body found;
They brought him to St Mary's all wrapped up in a sail,
If your heart was made of marble stone it's for him you would feel.

Long life to those St Mary's men, they are the real true blue,
They made his shroud and coffin, and what more could they do?
They got for him a boat and crew all on that selfsame day,
For to have him waked amongst his friends and buried in the clay.

Early the next morning this boat reached Salmonier,
Her colors they were half mast, the weather it being clear;
The people all around the place assembled this poor boy,
Did you see his kind aged mother? Oh, how bitter she did cry.

They brought him to his father's house and waked him there at night,
Amongst his friends and neighbours until the broad daylight;
You should see his kind aged mother as she sat down in her room,
She cries, my dear and darling son, you are cut down in your bloom.

The day of the Assumption it was his burial day,
I hope, all ye good people, it's for him ye will pray;
Pray to the blessed virgin his sins for to set free,
In the honour of our blessed Lord, died on Mount Calvary.

####.... Maurice Daley [ca.1830-1922] of St Mary's, NL ....####

Collected in 1951 from F Leonard (Leo) Molloy [1903-1989] 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 collected in 1950 from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as Kate O'Branch in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

According to a 1951 recording by MacEdward Leach of Mrs Alphonsus (Elizabeth) Ryan [1884-1971] of St Catherine's, NL, Maurice Daley wrote this song with help from the first priest to settle in St Catherine's, Father Ryan from St John's. Mrs Ryan was a relative of Father Ryan, and she recalled this event occurred sometime around 1850. She also mentioned William Daly [1843-1865] as the "young Daley body found".

A variant was collected in 1977 from Linda Slade of St John's, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #64, The Kate From Branch in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.112-113, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Linda Slade's variant was a composite version of the song learned by Linda Slade from the late Mack Masters of Arnold's Cove and Pius Power, who learned the song from his grandfather, Mr Billy.


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