MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

"Edward Primroy" of Pouch Cove

Edwin (John) Primroy, known as Eddy, from Pouch Cove was the son of John ("Jack") Primroy, also of Pouch Cove, who served in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the first World War (Reg. #1976). Mr. Primroy is the only person who sang with a guitar, something of a novelty at the time. He passed away in February of 1999 in Arnold's Cove at the age of 71; this would have made him twenty-two at the time of Leach's visit. He had three children, Edwena, Merrill, and Diane. According to an Evening Telegram obituary, as listed on "Newfoundland Grand Bank's Genealogy Site" (, at the time of his death, all of his children were living in St. Catharines, Ontario, and he also had six grandchildren and four great-grandhildren.

In total, Leach collected sixteen songs from Edward, eleven with guitar accompaniment ("Liquor Book," "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor," "Wreck of the Southern Cross," "Coaker," "Prisoner of Newfoundland," "I'd Love to be a Sailor," "Blooming Bright Star of Belle Isle," "Jealous Lover," "The Burglar," "Let's Go Back to the Bible," "Daniel Monroe," and "War Alphabet"), two harmonica tunes, and three guitar and harmonica tunes .

We would like to acknowledge Merrill Newell for confirming some of the information in the biography, providing additional information, and informing us of the Telegram obituary. Elizabeth Thistle also provided some information.