Johnny The Troller (MacEdward Leach)

Johnny the troller went courting a maid,
A rich merchant's daughter whose name it was Kate;
She courted a sailor, a seafaring man,
A jolly tarpaulin whose name it was John.

Johnny went to her for to let her know,
'Twas on a long voyage to the East Indies he was going;
And on his return he would make her his dear,
Then they would live in good splendour and cheer.

Johnny being gone seven years to a space,
When a jolly young tailor she chanced to embrace;
He told her false stories and both did agree,
And to be married they hastened with speed.

As John was a-walking down fair Bristol Street,
One of his brother shipmates he chanced for to meet.
"Welcome home, brother shipmate, you're well welcome home,
As I do believe 'tis the right to me you've come.

"For do you remember you courted a maid?
It's by your long absence she's going to be wed;
Tomorrow at Bristol the wedding shall be,
And I am invited the same for to see."

Oh, Johnny spoke up with joke and a smile,
"Tomorrow at Bristol their sport I will spoil;
Although they don't think it in none of their hearts,
You'll see the young troller first acting his part."

Johnny took lodgings that very same night,
And started for Bristol just as there was light;
In Bristol's fair churchyard he waited a while,
Till he saw them coming which caused them to smile.

Johnny walked over took her by the hand,
"You're going to be married, love, I understand;
I came here this morning to balk your design,
I'm fully intended, love, you will be mine."

"Good Lord!" said the lady, "Oh, what shall I do?
I know I am faithfully promised to you;
Yes, the troller's my true love and I'll be his bride,
No man in this world will I marry beside."

So come all ye young tailors wherever you'll be,
It's by our misfortune take warning from me:
If you court a fair maiden marry her while you may,
Lest some jolly young troller might steal her away.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional love song ....####

Collected in 1951 from Cyril O'Brien [ca.1902-?] of Trepassey, 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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