#01641
A Lad And A Lass (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: A Lad And A Lass (Figgy Duff)

Down by the river there dwelt a young couple,
A lad and a lass who was buxom and gay;
Long time they'd been courting, no sign of a wedding,
Till at length the young girl to this young man did say:
"Come tell me in plain what is it you mean?
I'm tired of waiting still thinking you to marry me,
And now your sweet company, sir, I'll refrain."

"All for to get married I think it's a pity,
A pity to part with my sweet single life,
For when a man gets married his joys take a fly,
He's robbed of his liberty, tied unto slavery,
But now I am free and I wish you goodbye."

"If ever I do get a chance to get married,
I'll pass that young man with a stout brilliance shone."
Where she later then stayed till at length come a page
Intending to court this beautiful damsel,
And he was a carpenter bound by his trade.

"Here's fifty bright guinea I asked for my po'tion,"
He says, "my pretty fair maid if you'll fancy me,
Perhaps it will rise to a higher promotion
If you will consent my fond bride to be."

She wrote a fond letter all to her old true love
To come to her wedding on the sixth day of June,
To come to her wedding that he would be welcome
To wait on the table and dress the bridegroom;
Those lines he did read which made his heart bleed,
In tears he did mourn which made his heart burn,
Saying "Faith, and in foolish I have lost her indeed."

"I will saddle my horse, I will go to the wedding,
I will go to the wedding on the sixth day of June,
To go to a wedding that I might be welcome
To wait on the table and dress the bridegroom.

"If I had have known that you had been gone
I'd no longer tarry but with you I'd marry,
So get up behind me and leave him alone."
"I told you, you know, and it's not long ago
The cost of your folly made you melancholy,
And oftentimes caused you for to lay alone.

"All for to get married you thought it a pity,
A pity to part with your sweet single life,
You said when a man gets married his joys take a fly,
He's robbed of his liberty, tied unto slavery,
But now you are free and I'll wish you goodbye."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, No Sign Of A Marriage [Laws P3] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and Mrs Isaac Freeman (Catherine) Bennett [1908-2006] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.542-544, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this would appear to be quite a rare ballad, for he had not seen it in other collections. The point of the story comes across very well, despite the rather hopeless confusion of the text. Those who wish to use the song professionally will be able to re-arrange the text and the melody in a more regular form, in the usual ballad quatrain if possible.

Figgy Duff performed an excellent variant live as A Lad And A Lass at the Fifth Annual Newfoundland Folk Festival in St John's Pippy Park on opening day June 27, 1981.


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