Peter Amberly (Collected by MacEdward Leach) lyrics & video
See also: Peter Emberley (Collected by Edith Fowke)

    #64: YouTube video by quickaccent2006 ©2008
                 ~ Used with permission ~

midi file alt : midi file

My name is Peter Amberly as you may understand,
Born on Prince Edward Island that fair and happy land;
In eighteen hundred and ninety-two and flowers in their full bloom,
I left my native country my fortune to pursue.

I landed in New Brunswick that lumbering country,
I hired to go in the lumbering woods which proved my destiny;
I hired to go in the lumbering woods where they cut those tall pines down,
And loading tow-sleds by the yard I received my mortal wound.

Here's adieu unto my father as he had drove me here,
I did not like his treatment I thought it too severe;
Now a father should not press his son or try to keep him down,
For it oftentimes makes them leave home when they are far too young.

Here's adieu unto my nearer friend, I mean my mother dear,
She reared a son how soon he fell when he left her tender care;
But little did my mother think when she sang for her boy,
What country I would travel through or what a death would die.

Here's adieu unto my younger friend that Island girl so true,
May she live to enjoy her happiness where I my first breath drew;
The world may go 'round just the same as it has done before,
What signal finds one mortal soul when death comes at the door.

Here's adieu unto Prince Edward Island the garden on the sea,
No more I'll walk the flowery streets to enjoy a summer breeze;
No more I'll watch those gallant ships as they go passing by,
With colours flying in the air above all canvas high.

The danger on the ocean where angry billows roar,
The danger on the battlefield where angry bullets fly;
The danger in the lumber woods where death deems silent there,
Where I had fell a victim to this great monster fair.

Now, comrades, I am dying, I have one more word I crave,
Some good and holy clergyman to bless my peaceful grave;
Being near the city of Boiestown where my poor body lay,
I'm waiting for our Saviour's call all on the judgement day.

####.... John Calhoun of Parker's Ridge, NB, winter, 1881. Variant of Peter Emberly [Laws C27] Native American Balladry (G. Malcolm Laws, 1964) ....####
Collected from Pat Murphy [b.1887] of Calvert, 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 1951 from John Connors of St. Shott's, NL, and published as Peter Hennessey in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected by Edith Fowke and published as Peter Emberley in the Penguin Book Of Canadian Folk Songs, 1973.

Another variant was sung by Mrs. Kate (Bill) Wilson of Fox Harbour, NL, during the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL, and published as Peter Emberley by Loyola Pomroy and Bill Wilson.

The YouTube video above features an arrangement recorded as Peter Ambelay by Ryan's Fancy (Times To Remember, trk#10, 1974, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

In spite of dates to the contrary within different variants, Robert B. Waltz, editor of The Ballad Index published by California State University (Fresno) notes that according to his tombstone Amberley was born in 1863. He died some time after Christmas Day, 1880.

See more lumber camp songs from Newfoundland and Labrador.


Index Page - GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador


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