#02039
Matt Ireland (MacEdward Leach) video
See also: Matt Eiley (Figgy Duff)
#763: YouTube video by threelegsoman
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

It's of a lord lives in our parts,
He reared one fair and handsome daughter;
She fell in love with a young man,
Who was a servant to her father.

And when the lord came this to hear,
He said he'd make him quit the island;
The lady said her heart would break,
If she should part with young Matt Ireland.

Straightway unto her love she went,
And ordered him for to awaken:
"Arise now, dear, and go your way,
For this very night you shall be taken.

"Last night I heard my father say,
In spite of it he would transport you;
Arise now, dear, and go your way,
For I wish to the Lord I went before you."

"How can I go, my dear," he says,
"Just like a poor forlorn stranger?
To leave your father 'twould be disgrace,
And likewise go and leave my wages."

"Here is fifty pounds in gold," she said,
"That is more than my father owes you;
Arise now, dear, and go away,
For I wish to the Lord I went before you."

Oh, this young couple sat on the bed,
For the space of a half an hour or more;
And every word this couple spoke,
'Twas down their cheeks those tears did shower.

She leaned her head against his breast,
And around his neck her arms they twined;
She says, "No lord or duke I'll wed,
For I'll die a maid for you Matt Ireland."

Oh, many's the lord and wealthy man,
Came to court this fair and handsome lady;
But by their courtship it was in vain,
'Twas unto death she took no fancy.

Her father asked her the reason why,
'Twas unto him she told the token;
She says, "No lord or duke I'll wed,
For I'll die a maid for young Matt Ireland."

"I did not know, my dear," he says,
"I did not know how dear you loved him;
Send for Matt Ireland back again,
Oh, since you love no one above him."

She wrote a letter in post-haste,
And for Matt Ireland they were well inclined;
To the church that day for to crown all joys,
So they made a lord out of young Matt Ireland.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, Young Mat Hyland, published by W Armstrong (Liverpool) sometime between 1820 and 1824, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmarks: Harding B 16(315c) ....####
This variant was 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).

The video above features a variant by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle of Man.

A variant was also 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).

A variant was collected in 1930 from Mrs Joseph McCarthy by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] and published as #71, Young M'Tyre, on pp.220-221 of Folk Songs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971; also Oxford, 1934).

An abbreviated variant was recorded as Matt Eiley by Figgy Duff on their self-titled debut album (Figgy Duff, trk#16, 1980 LP, Posterity Records, Toronto, Ontario, recorded and mixed at Nimbus 9 Studios, Toronto, Ontario, and produced by Gary Furniss and Tom Treumuth for Hypnotic Productions); reissued: (Figgy Duff, trk#16, 1997 CD, Amber Music, Topsail, NL).



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