MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Geordie (On the Banks of the Clyde)
Performed by Maggie Luby Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 1 Track 4
Community: Tors Cove Audio:
Genre: Ballad / lovers separated  


On the banks of the Clyde stood a lad and a lassie
The lad's name was Geordie and the lassie's named Jane
She threw her arms around him and cried, "Do not leave me!"
For Geordie was going to fight for his queen

She gave him a lock of her bright auburn tresses
She kissed him and pressed him once more to her heart

The last word was spoken they kissed and they part

Over the burning rocks of danger
Under the scorching sun
He told of the story he had to tell
To his love when the fight was won

He treasured with care that dear lock of hair

(speaks) No I'm gone astray there now

(sings) For his own Darling Jenny he prayed
But his prayers were in vain for she'll ne'er see again
Her lad in the Scotch brigade


(speaks) No I'm sorry I really couldn't finish it.


Sources: Mercer 97; Leach 1965: 320, cf Fowke 1994: 124 ("The Banks of the Claudy"); Randolph I: 233. This is not the Child 209 ballad also named "Geordie." Neither is it Laws N40 ("The Banks of the Claudy"); Leach also collected this (as "The Banks of the Clyde,") from Jack Swain of Calvert.

History: Scottish ballad, also widely collected in the U.S.

Text notes: Soldier carries a lock of his love's hair into battle. After his death, his mother and girlfriend console one another.

Tune notes: Triple metre; phrase repetition is abac.

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