#01925
Down By The Riverside (MacEdward Leach)

When I was young and in my prime,
Like many's the young man, too,
I fell in love with a fair pretty maid,
Who had my heart quite won;
And it was most dearly she loved me,
And that I never denied,
And to disown my parents,
Down by the riverside.

A rich lady that lived nearby
Was chosen for my bride,
And to forsake my Annie dear,
Down by the riverside;
And sooner to see their angry looks
Upon me with a frown,
Quite contented I married her
Just for to please their minds.

The last time I saw my love,
She grieved me to the heart,
And her right hand she placed in mine,
I thought we never would part;
I quickly turned my back to her,
Quite broken-hearted first,
Sayin', "What is the use of my gold to me,
When I haven't the girl I love?"

I murdered my wife on a moonlit night,
On the twenty-fourth of June,
Then I was taken to a short jail,
For to wait for my coming doom;
The judge he passed my sentence,
Just after my case had been won,
Saying, "Tomorrow morning you must hang,
Down by the riverside."

Come all old folks take warning,
A warning take by me,
The one your child loves dearly,
Don't ever try to part;
The one your child loves dearly,
Don't drive them from your heart,
For if she's poor she's happy, I'm sure,
And willing to be your bride,
Don't let them see you hang like me,
Down by the riverside.

One evening as I was sitting,
A-sitting all alone,
I thought on my aged parents,
They bein' so cruel to me;
I thought on my aged parents,
So cruel to choose for me a bride,
And now they see my bending tree,
Down by the riverside.

Come all young folks take warning,
A warning take by me,
Don't ever slight your first true love,
No matter who she may be;
For if she's poor she's happy, I'm sure,
And willing to be your bride,
Don't let them see you hang like me,
Down by the riverside.

####.... Author unknown. TGraditional murder ballad ....####

Collected in 1951 from John James of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected in 1978 as Down By A Riverside in Placentia Bay, NL, by Eric West and deposited in the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) accession number 78-236.


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