#01658
My Flora And Me (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Nightingale (MacEdward Leach)

As I roved out oh one evening in spring,
To hear those birds whistle and the nightingales sing,
Where the green fields and branches all covered with young,
And the small birds around me so joyful they sung.

Was there ever a young man so happy as me,
So happy as Flora, my Flora and me?
I will go to my Flora and this I will say:
"When shall we get married? - pray mention the day."

"To wed, gentle shepherd, my time is not come,
To wed, gentle shepherd, my age is too young,
I will first go to service till I'm twenty-one,
And then we'll get married if love follows on."

To fulfill her promise to service she went,
To wait on a lady it was her intent,
To wait on a lady, a rich lady gay,
Young Flora was clothed in most costly array.

The twelve-month being over, being over and spent,
I wrote her a letter to hear her intent.
The answer that she sent to me: 'Lead a long single life,
For I never intend to be a poor shepherd's wife.'

In reading those few lines it grieved my heart sore
To think that my Flora could love me no more,
To think that my Flora could be so unkind,
Like a false-hearted lovyer she soon changed her mind.

I wished I never knowed her, or she to know me,
I wish I never loved her, or she to love me,
My heart it's ensnared by her snowy-white breast,
And I'm deeply wounded, and I can't take no rest.

Oh once I was happy as a bud on a rose,
And now I'm so pale as the lily that grows,
Like a tree in yonder valley when the blooms are all gone,
Don't you see what I'm come to by loving but one?

To the green fields and branches we shall now bid adieu,
Likewise to my Flora, she proved so untrue,
Likewise to my Flora, she proved so unkind,
Like a false-hearted lovyer she soon changed her mind.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Unkind Shepherdess, published by J Pitts (London) between 1819 and 1844, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 25(1975) ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Arthur Nicolle [1900-1971] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.480-481, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that to give the best wording a few phrases in the text were taken from three other variants. All the texts are similar, though Mr Nicolle's is the most complete.

A variant was sung by Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published with an apparently incorrect title as Nightingale in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A confusing and fractured variant was collected in 1951 from Nick Davis [1914-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published as Young Flora in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA). This variant is not included in the GEST archive.

Note on the word 'lovyer': "... an added 'y' can enlarge or distort an existing vowel or diphthong: villyan, joynt (villain, giant)." Morath, Max (2004) Translating Mister Dooley: A New Examination of the Journalism of Finley Peter Dunne. (The Journal of American Culture Vol.27, Issue 2, page 147.)


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