#01467
The Green Mossy Banks Of The Lea (Peacock)
See also: The Sweet Mossy Banks Of The Wey (Peacock)

When first to this country a stranger,
Curiosity caused me to roam,
Over Ireland in exile I wandered,
Far from my American home.

Till at length I arrived in sweet Erin,
In the land where I longs to be,
My footsteps were guided by fairies,
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

One evening I carelessly rambled
Where the clear crystal fountain do flow;
It was down by the banks of Loch Erin,
Where the sweet running waters do flow.

'Twas there that I spied the fair damsel,
She was most modest appearing to me,
As she rose from her seat near the water,
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

I stepped up, I wished her good morning,
Her fair cheeks they blushed like a rose:
And I says, "Sir, if this is your daughter,
She's truly the girl I adore."

"Ten thousand a year is my fortune,
And a lady your daughter will be,
Riding our horses and carriages,
To the green mossy banks of the Lea."

They welcomed me home to their cottage,
In wedlock band we did join;
It was there we entered the castle,
More grandious and splendid did shine.

And all you kind friends who are greeting,
Each knows what this welcome may be;
We both bless the hour of our meeting,
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

With flattering let no man deceive you,
Not knowing what his fortune may be,
Like the great adorable Madeleine
On the green mossy banks of the Lea.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad [Laws O15] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, The Green Mossy Banks Of The Lea, published by G Walker (Durham) sometime between 1797 and 1834, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth b.26(498) ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1951 from Patrick (Pat) Maloney [ca.1918-?] of King's Cove NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.523-524, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Another variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from James (Jim) M Keeping [b.ca.1910] of Burnt Islands, NL, and published as The Sweet Mossy Banks Of The Wey in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, p.600, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A shorter variant was collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1975 from Edward Ward [1916-?] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #47 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.83-84, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted about the variant she published that this song appears in other collections with more complete texts than Mr Ward's version. However, the air is quite different from the others that she had seen, and because of its beautiful musical qualities she inclduded Edward Ward's rendition.


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