#01385
Swansee Town (MacEdward Leach)
See also: The Lass Of Swansea Town (Peacock)
midi1   alt: midi2

Down by some Swansee barracks
one evening as I strayed,
A-viewing of the roses red
I spied a handsome maid;
Red and rosy was her cheeks
the tears they did flow down,
I thought she was some gone astray,
the lass from Swansee Town.

I boldly stepped up to her,
I said, "What brought you here?"
"I am in search, kind sir," she said,
"all for my Willie dear.
Eight years ago he left me,
for Princetown he was bound,
He told me that he would be true
to the lass of Swansee Town."

"If Willie was your true love's name
I know that young man well.
'Twas in a battle with the French
your true love Willie fell;
A cannon ball which made him fall
and give him his death wound.
He told me for to take you, dear,
the lass of Swansee Town."

"Stand back, stand back, young man,"
she cried, "if what you say is true,
Oh, take me to my Willie dear,
I cannot die with you;
Oh, take me to my Willie dear,
give me my death wound,
For no other young man will ever enjoy
the Lass of Swansee Town."

His jacket then fell open,
those marks he did make known.
She flew into her Willie's arms,
crying, "Welcome, Willie, home."
There is a cottage by the sea
where they are settled down,
Young Willie of the Royal Blue
and the Lass of Swansee 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 in 1950 from Mrs Peter (Mary Lee) Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Ray, 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 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).

A third variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Henry James (Harry) Curtis [1895-1963] of Joe Batt's Arm, NL, and published as The Lass Of Swansea Town in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.547-548, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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