MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Daniel Monroe
Eddy Primroy NFLD 1 Tape 14A Track 5
Pouch Cove Audio:
Ballad / battle; killing of son(s) in error Laws J12

[Mr. Primroy accompanies himself on guitar]

Ye sons of North Britain who's inclined for to roam
For to seek for employment and pleasure was known
Amongst the great number stood Daniel Monroe
And he was forced for the foreign country to go

He bid his two sons with their uncle to stay
While he was not able their passage to pay
"For the price of their passage you know 'twould be dear
So take my advice and stay home with him there."

The two young lads were discontented and troubled in mind
For to stay with their uncle they were not inclined
They shipped for a voyage to sail over the main
In hopes for to meet their fond father again

The young lads landed safely took a boy for their guide
To show them the place where their father resides
They travelled over mountains through valleys and roads
Till the green leaves on the branches appeared for to grow

Some highwayman robbers lay hid in the wood
They pointed their pistols where the two brothers stood
They lodged their two bullets in their truly white breasts
And rose on the prey like a savage wild beast

"You hard-hearted monsters you blood-thirsty hounds
You have shot your own … (speaks) No …

Male voice in background: (speaks) "You might not have shot me till my father I've seen."

"You might not have shot us till the one we had found
Where and what.

Male voice in background: (speaks) Must have lost it

[tape starts and stops]

"We're in search of our father and it's him we love dear
And we have not the seen him for seven long years

"And who is your father and what is his name?
And what is his fortune, I might know the same?"
"He left us in Scotland seven twelvemonth ago
And perhaps you may know him his name is Monroe."

"And who is this young man lying dead by your side
Oh, who is this young man." the father replied
"He is my only brother he is your youngest son
It will cost your hard fortune for the deed you have done

"Go and tell our dear mother that we're both lying here
She will sink into sorrow, give away to despair
We're in hopes for to meet her on a happier shore
Where you won't be able to shoot us no more."


Notes

Sources: Mercer 111 ("Donald Munroe"); Laws J 12; Greenleaf 1968: 318; Leach 110; Peacock 812; Recorded by Ned Rice, Cape Broyle, NL, for Columbia (SL 211) in 1951; Taft 42; Creighton 124; Roud 521.

History: Peacock and Creighton both note a Scottish chap-book of 1778 as a source. Another broadside was printed by James Wright of Edinburgh (Peacock 816).

Text notes: Munroe leaves his homeland for America, while his young sons stay behind. Later as British soldiers in America, one (or both, in some variants) of the sons are killed by a band of rebels among whom is their father who is unaware of the soldier's identity.

Tune notes: Rossiter's performance (in triple metre and "abba" form) ressembles the third tune (tune "C") published by Peacock; note that it was also recorded in Cape Broyle. On the other hand, the melody sung by Eddy Primroy constitutes a fourth variant, albeit one with a similar contour, but now heterometric.

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.