#01682
I'm Sitting On The Stile, Mary (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Lament Of The Irish Emigrant
(Lady H S Blackwood Dufferin)
MIDIs
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Oh, I'm sitting on the stile, Mary,
Where we sat side by side,
On a bright May morning long ago,
When first you were my bride;
The corn was springing fresh and green,
And the lark sang loud and high,
And the red was on your lips, Mary,
And the love lay in your eye.

The place is little changed, Mary,
The day is bright as then,
The lark's loud song is in my ear,
And the corn is green again;
But I miss the softness of your hand,
And your breath warm on my cheek,
And I still keep listening for the words,
You never more will speak.

'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
The little church stands near,
The place where we were wed, Mary,
I see the spire from here;
And the grave-yard stands between us both,
Where you took your final rest,
Where I laid you, darling, down to sleep,
With your babe all on your breast.

I'm very lonely now, Mary,
For the poor make no new friends;
But, oh, they love the better still,
The few our Father sends;
And you were all I had, Mary,
My blessing and my pride,
There's nothing else to care for now,
Since my poor Mary died.

I'm bidding you a long farewell,
My Mary, kind and true,
But I'll not forget you, darling,
In that land I'm going to;
For they say there's bread and work for all,
And the sun shines always there,
But I'll ne'er forget my Mary,
Were it fifty times as fair.

####.... Abbreviated variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad taken from the poem, Lament Of The Irish Emigrant, by Lady Helena Selina Blackwood Dufferin [1807-1867] ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from James [1886-1962] and Lucy [1895-?] Heaney of Stock Cove, NL, and from Nicholas Keough [1879-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.462-464, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that verse three was missing from the Heaney's variant and was supplied from Keough's. The Heaneys said they learned this from an old copy of The Family Herald, a weekly Canadian journal, widely read by rural dwellers. Some of the material on its old-time song page was quite good, although this Irish song is not a particularly good example.

A slightly longer variant was often sung by Joe Casey of Merasheen, NL, and was published as Sitting On The Stile, Mary for the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL, by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL.



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