MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Swansea Barracks
Jack Kehoe NFLD 1 Tape 14A Track 8 and Tape 2A Track 2
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad / lover's return

Now twas down by Swansea Barracks one May morning I strayed
A-viewing of those soldiers I spied a comely maid
Twas down her red and her rosy cheeks the tears they did roll down
She appeared to be some goddess there or the lass of Swansea Town

"I said my comely fair maid why do you wander here?"
"Kind sir," she said, "I'm looking for my bonny young soldier dear
Eight years ago he left me to Bermuda he was bound
And he vowed he'd prove faithful to the lass of Swansea Town."

"If it's eight years ago he left you he never will return
Perhaps he was in some battle slain or into the ocean drowned."
"Oh God forbid young man," she cries, the lass of Swansea Town

When she hear […] the lass of Swansea town

When she heard this dreadful news down on the ground did fall
She wrung her hands and tore her hair and went distracted like a maiden fair

(speaks) I'm wrong now

[tape stops and starts]

And tokens would you know your own true lover gay
If he could be found
"I'm in a trance young man," she cries the lass of Swansea town

"When my true love he left me he was handsome tall and fair
His cheeks was red his teeth was white and co. [tape imperfection] was his hair
On his left breast he wore a scar where he received a wound
In fighting for his country," cries the lass of Swansea town

The coat he then threw open and the scar he did expose
She knew her love right instantly and again tell fainting down
She was out.

[Tape ends: Leach changes reel and song continues]

His coat he then threw open and the scar he did expose
She knew her love right instantly and again fell fainting down
She was overpowered with joy it was the lass of Swansea Town

When this fair maid recovered and on her feet arose
Along the street together those young there they goes
Through high street through … street together they did walk down

A cottage by the sea …
A cottage by the seaside where happiness is found
Cries Willie of the Royal Blue and the lass of Swansea Town

Female voice: (speaks) Good. It's hard to do that if you break it in the middle.


Sources: See 18/5 for a variant of this song


Text notes:.A young woman waits for 8 years for her lover to return. A soldier approaches her and tries to convince her that he must be dead. As she despairs, the solider reveals that he is the lost lover.

Tune notes: The melodic form is abcd.

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