#01030
The Drunkard's Dream (MacEdward Leach)

Why Dermot, you look healthy now,
When you dresses neat and plain;
I have never seen you drunk about,
Come tell me where you have been.
Your wife and family all are well,
You once did use them strange,
But you're more kinder to them now,
How came that happy change?

It was a dream, a warning voice,
That heaven sent to me,
To keep me from a drunkard's curse
Of wantand misery.

I dreamt one night I staggered home,
It being a sudden gloom,
I missed my wife where can she be,
And strangers in the room.
I hear them say, "Poor thing she's dead,
She's lived a wretched life;
'Twas grief and want that broke her heart,
For she was a drunkard's wife."

It was a dream, a warning voice,
That heaven sent to me,
To keep me from a drunkard's curse
Of want and misery.

I saw my children weeping 'round,
I scarce could draw my breath;
I called and kissed her once warm lips,
Was forever cold as death.
Now Mary, speak one word to me,
No more I'll cause you pain;
No more I'll grieve your loving heart,
Nor ever drink again.

It was a dream, a warning voice,
That heaven sent to me,
To keep me from a drunkard's curse
Of want and misery.

Now Mary, speak while Dermot calls.
"Why so I do," she cried.
I woke and saw my Mary dear
Was kneeling by my side.
I pressed her to my throbbing heart,
While joyful tears did stream;
And ever since, I've heaven blessed,
For sending me that dream.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Husband's Dream, published by Birt (London) sometime between 1833 and 1841, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth b.25(31) ....####

Sung by James (Jim) Rice [1879-1958] of Cape Broyle, 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 recorded by Tommy Nemec singing acapella the songs he heard sung by his grandfather, John P Myrick [1900-1984] with Thomas (Tom) Finlay [1885-?] at house parties in St Shotts and on Cape Pine, NL (Songs From The Cape, trk#2, 2003, Backcove Music, St John's, NL, recorded at the Cape Pine Lightstation).


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