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I am a bold undaunted youth, my name is Tom McCann,
I am a native of sweet Millertown convenient to Strablane,
For the stealing of an heiress I must lie forlorn in jail,
Her old father swears he'll hang me for his daughter Mary Neal.
While in strong irons I lay bound my love sent word to me:
'Don't fear my father's anger for I will set you free.'
That very night he gave consent to let me out on bail,
Until I would stand my trial for his daughter Mary Neal.
I love my charming Mary, she's the joy of my life,
If ever I am free again 'twill be her who will be my wife,
The day all of my trial to appear she did not fail,
She freed me from all bondage, she's my charming Mary Neal.
Being full of wrath and anger her old father loud did call,
And when my trial was over I approached the garden wall,
My well-known voice she seemed to hear that echoes o'er hill and dale.
"You're welcome here, love, Jimmy dear," cries charming Mary Neal.
On a primrose bank we both sot down for to discourse a while,
She said, "If you'll comply with me I'll free you from exile,
The Charles S. Douglas is ready and tomorrow she will sail,
So come to Quebec 'long with me," cries charming Mary Neal.
A coach they then got ready to Derry for to go,
And she did bribe the coachman for to let no one know,
He said her secrets he would keep and never would reveal,
So down to Derry straight I went with charming Mary Neal.
'Twas on to Captain Wilson our passage for to pay,
While in the town of Derry we under cover lay,
We joined our hands in wedlock bands before the ship sot sail,
Her old father's wrath I valued not, I gained my Mary Neal.
So over the proud and swelling sea our ship do gently glide,
Six weeks passage to Quebec, six weeks on the boisterous tide,
Until we came near Wheaton's Head hard fortune to bewail,
I thought that day in Gaspé Bay I'd lose my Mary Neal.
'Twas not long after daybreak when a storm it did arise,
The wind it blew a howling gale and dismal were the skies,
When our vessel on a sand-bank struck as she drifted before the gale,
There was forty-four washed overboard and with them Mary Neal.
'Twas with the help of men and boats four hundred lives did save,
While the rest of our ship's number met a deep and watery grave;
Her yellow locks I chanced to spy a-floating in the gale,
I threw my body in the deep and sove my Mary Neal.
Her old father wrote a letter giving me to understand,
That if I'd comply for to go home he'd will me half his land.
I wrote him back an answer and that without fail,
Saying: "Ten pounds a week I do receive with your daughter Mary Neal."
This variant was collected in 1952 from Jim Rice of Cape Broyle, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.862-863, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
GEST notes that the word 'sot' appears several times in the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English within quotations which serve as examples of usage for defined words. The word itself is not formally defined; however, we readily assume 'sot' as used twice in this song is the past tense of the verbs 'sit' and 'set' spoken with a Newfoundland dialect rather than a typographic error. The same would apply for the word 'sove' [= 'saved'].