#01690
The Wexford Girl (Kenneth Peacock - Variant A)
See also: Wexford Girl 1 (MacEdward Leach)

Click to jump down to Variant B

'Twas in the city of Wexford,
A merchant he did dwell,
He had one only daughter,
And her I did love well.

She was neat, tall, and handsome,
With a dark and a rolling eye;
I promised I would marry her,
And that I can't deny.

'Twas going to her sister's house,
At the hour of eight o'clock,
It was his full intention,
For to meet his heart's delight.

He says, "Come take a walk with me,
For to view those meadows gay,
That we might have a walk and a talk,
And to appoint our wedding day."

They walked along both hand in hand,
Till they came to level ground;
He got a stake all from edge,
And he knocked this fair maid down.

In rising on her bended knee,
Oh for mercy she did say,
"Oh Willie dear, don't murder me,
For I'm not prepared to die."

He took her by the yellow locks
And he dashed her to the ground,
He throwed her into the river
That flows from Wexford town.

"Lay there, lay there, you Wexford girl,
For you thought you would be mine;
I never intended to marry you,
And that I can't deny."

'Twas going home that very same night
At the hour of twelve o'clock;
He woke his aged mother,
Got up all in a shock.

"Oh son, dear son, what have you done?
For the blood-stains on your clothes."
He silently made answer,
"It's a bleeding from the nose."

He asked her for a candle,
For to light himself to bed,
And all that night the Wexford girl
Come trembling 'round his head.

He twisted, turned, "No peace for you,
No peace for you," said she,
"For the gates of hell are wide open
All naked for to see."

Come all you poor and country lads,
A warning take by me;
Don't never murder your own true love,
Makes no matter who she be.

But if you do, you'll surely rue,
You will find yourself lke me;
You will die a public scandal,
All on the gallows tree.

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.634-635, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


Wexford City (Kenneth Peacock - Variant B)

'Twas in the city of Wexford
a merchant he did dwell,
He reared one comely daughter
a farmer he loved well;
He went to her one evening
at the hour of six o'clock,
Saying, "Come and walk and we will talk,
and plan our wedding day."

They walked along together
not thinking any harm,
He took a stick all from the ground
and beat his true love down.
"Oh Willie, lovely Willie,
oh Willie," she did cry,
"Oh Willie dear, don't murder me,
I'm not prepared to die."

He took her by her yellow locks
and gently threw her down,
And he threw her in the river
that flows through Wexford town;
Returning home that very night
at the hour of twelve o'clock
He saw his mother getting off
all in a purple shawl.

"Oh son, dear son, what have you done?
There's blood-stain on your clothes."
He quickly made an answer
he bleeding from the nose;
He asked her for a candle
to light himslf to bed,
And all that night this Wexford girl
was trembling over his head.

For twisting and for turning
no peace nor rest could find,
The gates of hell were open,
before his eyes did shine.
.....................................
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In less than three weeks after
this Wexford girl was found
A-floating down the river
that flows through Wexford town.
Then I was taken prisoner
and into prison cast,
With no one dear to pity me
or hear my mournful cries.

Come all ye young maidens
and warning take by me,
Don't ever trust your first true love
whoever he may be,
For if you do you'll surely rue
to find yourself like me,
For to die a public scandal
upon some gallows tree.

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1951 from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.636-637, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this murder ballad is probably the Irish version of The Worcester Tragedy. Other Irish variants give Waterford as the locale. See note on The Worcester Tragedy.

####.... Author unknown. Both versions above are variants of British broadside ballads, The Wexford Girl (The Oxford, Lexington, or Knoxville Girl; The Cruel Miller, etc) [Laws P35, pp.104-112] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Another variant was collected in 1951 from John James of Trepassey, NL, and published as Wexford Girl in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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