Wexford Girl (MacEdward Leach)
See also: The Wexford Girl (Kenneth Peacock)

It was down in Wexford city
Where a farmer he did dwell,
He reared one only daughter
And I loved her quite well.

For she being a fair and a comely maid
And I had gained her heart,
I promised that I'd marry her,
And that I can't deny.

And going to my sister's house
At ten o'clock one night,
It was my whole intention
For to meet my heart's delight.

And when I met my heart's delight
Oh, those words to her did say:
"Let us take a walk and have a talk
And 'point our wedding day."

They walked along together
Till they came to the level ground,
He drew a stick out from the hedge
And knocked that fair one down.

And raising on her bending knees
"Oh, for mercy's sake," she cried,
"Oh, Willie, dear, don't murder me,
I'm not prepared to die."

He took her by the yellow locks
And he towed her on the ground,
He threw her into a river
That flows through Wexford town.

Saying, "Lie there, lie there, you Wexford girl,
For you thought you were going to be mine;
I never promised I'd marry you,
And that I can't deny."

And going to his mother's house
At the hour of twelve o'clock,
He woke his dear old mother,
Got up all in a shock.

Said, "Son, dear son, what have you done,
Why those bloodstains on your clothes?"
He silently made an answer:
"It's bleeding from the nose."

He asked her for a candle
For to light him to his bed,
And all that night that Wexford girl
Lay bleeding o'er his head.

He twisted and turned, no rest he found.
"Oh, no rest for you," she cried.
"The gates of hell are wide open,
Wide open to your eyes."

Come, all young men goes courting,
A warning take by me:
Don't ever slight your first true love,
No matter who she be.

For if you do, you'll surely ruin
And come down to die like me,
You will die a cowardly rascal
In the heights of jealousy.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of British broadside ballads, The Wexford Girl (The Oxford, Lexington, or Knoxville Girl; The Cruel Miller, etc) [Laws P35, pp.104-112] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1951 from John James [1903-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Two variants were also collected by Kenneth Peacock, variant A in 1958 from Arthur Nicolle [1900-1971] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and variant B from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL. Both variants were published as The Wexford Girl in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.634-637, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this murder ballad is probably the Irish version of The Worcester Tragedy. Other Irish variants give Waterford as the locale. See note on The Worcester Tragedy.


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