#00790
The Lass Of Swansea Town (Peacock) MIDI
See also: Swansee Town (MacEdward Leach)
midi file   alt: midi file

It was down by Swansea barracks
one May morning I strayed,
A-viewing of the soldier lads,
I spied a comely maid;
It was o'er her red and rosy cheeks
the tears did dingle down,
I thought she was some goddess fair,
the lass of Swansea town.

I said,
"Fair maid, what brought you here,
what brought you here to mourn?"
"Oh I'm in search of Willie dear,
my bonny young sailor boy,
Eight years ago he left me here
for Bermuda he was bound,
He said he would prove faithful
to the lass of Swansea town."

"If eight years ago he left you here
it is useless for to mourn,
For perhaps he is in some battle slain,
or in the ocean drowned."
"Oh, God forbid, young man," she said,
the lass of Swansea town.

"And by what token will your Willie be known,
if he ever do return?"
"On his left breast he wears a scar
where he received a wound
While fighting for his country
and the lass of Swansea town."

"If by that token your Willie is known
it's him I know right well,
While fighting in the battle
by a cannon-ball he fell.
The cannon-ball which made him fall
gave him his deathly wound,
He told me to take care of you
the lass of Swansea town."

Soon as she heard him say these words
she fell in deep despair,
Wringing of her lily-white hands
and tearing of her hair,
Saying,
"Take me to my Willie, my Willie dear,
else give me my death wound,
For no other man will ever enjoy
the lass of Swansea town."

On coming to herself once more
up from the ground she rose,
His waistcoat it blew open
and the scar it did expose;
They walked till they reached his cottage
and there they settled down,
Young Willie of the Royal Blue
and the lass of Swansea town.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Lass Of --- Town, published by T Birt (London) sometime between 1833 and 1841, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(2071) ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Henry James (Harry) Curtis [1895-1963] of Joe Batt's Arm, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.547-548, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was collected in 1950 from Mrs Peter (Mary Lee) Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as Swansee Town in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected in 1951 from Mr Tom Pennell [1912-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published as The Lass Of Swansee Town in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Swansea is in Southern Wales. Kenneth Peacock noted that Harry Curtis once worked on a cargo vessel and during a stop-over in Wales he learned The Lass Of Swansea Town. As a matter of fact, he is of Welsh descent himself. His father shipped as a cabin boy from Wales at the age of thirteen or fourteen and jumped ship in Newfoundland.



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