MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Plain Golden Band
Mike Kent NFLD 1 Tape 10A Track 9
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / love lost

Leach: (speaks) Alright

I am thinking tonight on the days that are gone,
The sun slumbered brightly o'er the valleys that morn,
The dewdrops from heaven like diamonds did grow,
They were kissing the roses in the valleys below.

The clear waters flowing softly ran do blue,
There came a low whisper to one I'll prove true,
The flowers bloom brightly down by the dark shore,
Where I parted with Lizzie the girl I adore.

She was charming and fair as the roses in June,
She appeared like some goddess or some gracious queen,
She is one of the fairest that nature composed,
She is one of the fairest this girl I adore.

The night that we parted I shall never forget,
How I fancy I can see our and tears falling yet,
How my poor heart did ache with sorrows did ring,
When she drove from her finger that plain golden ring.

Saying, "Take back this ring which I feign would retain,
For wearing it frequently causes me pain,
Our vows are all broken we have made on the strand,
So retain I beseech you this plain golden band."

"Retain our engagement my darling I cried,
Will you lay me .

[tape stops and starts]

"Retain our engagement my darling you know,
You know that I loved you and that you loved me,
My love it is true and shall never grow cold,
So retain I beseech you this plain band of gold.

"Retain our engagement my darling you know,
You know that I loved you and that you loved me,
But you know you deceived me that night on the strand,
When you drove from your finger this plain golden band."

One clear winter's night as the moon it shone bright,
All nature seems gay in that pale yellow light,
It was there that this young man came over from the moor,
As I stood by my cottage for to roam by the shore.

"Retain our engagement my darling," I cried,
"Will you lay me to sleep in my cold silent grave,
With those fond cherished letters all in my right hand,
And on my cold bosom this plain golden band."

In some distant forest so far far away,
Where the deer longs to linger and a child longs to play,
Where all nature is gay though ever so grand,
It's the earth where you'll find to this plain golden band.


Sources: Laws H17; Ives 1978: 191-227; Ives 1989: 159; Ives 1999: 149. Roud 1963.

History: The author is New Brunswick lumberman, Joe Scott. While the evidence for his authorship has been disputed by some, Ives makes a strong case (Ives 1978: 191-227). The song was frequently requested in the Family Herald,   and Ives thinks that Mike Kent, the Newfoundland singer whom Leach recorded, learned his version from the Family Herald   text of 1928 or from someone who knew that text.

Text notes: A man is in despair when his beloved leaves him and gives him back his ring.

Tune notes: A triple metre tune in a major key and abba form.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.