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My dear, I'm bound for Canada, so, Sally, we must part,
To go and leave my native home all with an aching heart,
To face cold-hearted strangers in some foreign land.
The tears came roIling down his cheeks, he took her by the hand.
Oh, stay at home, dear Willie, you'll get employment here,
And do not leave your blooming girl, your lovely Sally dear;
Mine and your mother's heart will break if you do go away,
Think on your old aged father for his locks are turning grey.
I'll think on them, said Willie, and that you need not fear,
All on my old aged parent and lovely Sally dear;
I'm here just now in St. John's town, no employment can I find,
I must away, I cannot stay, for I have made up my mind.
Oh, then when they were for parting, remember me, said she,
It's for your welfare and prosperity everyday I'll pray;
Think on those pleasant hours we rambled side by side,
Think on the promises you made me that I should be your bride.
Oh, the promises I made you, my love, is in my mind to stand,
I do intend to come again once more to Newfoundland;
I don't intend my days to spend on that Canadian shore,
How can I stay three years away? It's you I do adore.
And when they were for parting and parting was their intent,
He promised her every mail would run a letter he would send;
He bid his charming girl adieu, may good fortune on him smile,
And every desolate young man who leaves his girl behind.
Collected in 1951 from Charlie Williams 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).
MacEdward Leach also collected a variant published as #85, Bound For Canaday, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
A variant was collected by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield and published as #154, My Dear, I'm Bound For Canady in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968.)
Two other variants were collected, one in 1979 from Pius Power, Sr. of Southeast Bight, and one in 1980 from Bill Foley of Tilting, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #85, My Dear, I'm Bound For Canaday, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.145-147 edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).
Genevieve Lehr noted that Bound For Canaday, was collected by MacEdward Leach in Labrador in 1960. Leach said that the song was first popular in Newfoundland in the 1860s or 1870s.