#01960
Lake Of Coll Finn (MacEdward Leach)

Early one morning young Willie arose,
Straight to his comrade's bedchamber he goes,
Saying, "Arise, my loyal comrade, let nobody know,
It's a fine sunny morning, to the bathing we'll go."

They joined hands together and marched down the street,
The first they met up with was keeper of the gate;
He advised them to turn back, not to venture in,
There is deep and false waters in the lake of Coll Finn.

Now Willie stripped off and he swam the lake round,
He swam to the Island and then to lie down;
Said Willie to Henry, "Don't you venture in,
For there's deep and false waters in the lake of Coll Finn."

Now Willie stripped off and he swam the lake round,
He swam backwards and forwards but not to right ground;
Said Willie to Henry, "l am getting weak,"
And these were the last words poor Willie did speak.

When his old mother came this for to hear,
She ran 'round the lake and she, tearing her hair,
Saying, "Cruel murder, cruel murder, was there nobody nigh,
For to save the sweet life of my own darling boy?"

When his old father came this for to hear,
He ran 'round the lake like a man in despair,
Saying, "Where was he drowned, or did he fall in?"
'Twas his lot to be drowned in the lake of Coll Finn.

When his true love, Bridget Murphy, came this for to hear,
She ran 'round the lake and she, tearing her hair,
Saying, "I loved him, I loved him from morning until noon,
Like the pink rose that flourished when they are in full bloom."

The day of Willie's funeral, it was a great sight,
To see twelve young maidens, and they all dressed in white;
They raised him on their shoulders and they carried him away,
Saying, "Here's adieu to lovely Willie, buried under the clay."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Lake Of Cool Finn [Laws Q33] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Lakes Of Cold Finn, printed by H Such (London) between 1863 and 1885, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballads 1175 ....####

Collected in 1951 from Dennis (Din) Dobbin [1900-1976] of St Vincent's, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Also published by MacEdward Leach [1897-1967] as Willie Leonard or The Lake of Cool Finn in The Ballad Book, pp.732-733 (A S Barnes, New York, 1955).


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