MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Glen Gyle
Alexander March NFLD 1 Tape 15A Track 2
Port au Port Audio:
Ballad / brother defends sister's honour

In yon fair isle by yonder Gyle where the flocks and herd are plenty
There lived a squire whose sister fair was the flower of all the country
The young Glen Gyle had courted her intending for to marry
But the island lord she him preferred he was handsome rich and cheery

Tell tidings to her brother came that he had boasted proudly
Of favours from his sister fair which caused him to swear unruly
He swore by all in France and Spain if he'd live to see the morn
"Either him or I shall lose their lives I'll live no longer in scorn."

Down by the seashore where proud waves roar a challenge was sent to fight him
And those two met before the sun not a living soul would deny them
"What ailest thou my dearest friend dost thou intend to destroy me?"
"I want none of your flattery but unsheath your sword and try me. "

"Sheath up thy sword at once," said Neil, "and don't presume to fight me
For there's not a man in all Scotland that can the broadsword deny me."
Until being vexed and so abused with angry passion darted
And thru the heart of brave Sir Neil and to.

(speaks) Oh, I made it all wrong

And through the heart of brave McGuire and with a groan he departed

"Curse on my skill what have I done rash man thou wouldst dismay me
Why have I slain so dear a friend that would shed blood to save me?"
Saying this he dropped his guard and the young Glen Gyle advanced
And through the heart of brave Sir Neil till his sword behind him glanced

In falling down he cries and strains an adieu to all things earthly
"Adieu Glen Gyle for the day is dying but thou hast won it beastly."

Leach: Alright

When tidings to his lady came time after time she fainted
She ran and kissed his clay cold lips and his fate she sore lamented

Crying, "Brave Sir Neil why art thou slain and in thy blossom wither
Not a braver youth ever faced a foe if thou had been used fairly
Tis for thy sake I'll remain a maiden Glen Gyle shall never expose me
And for the space of seven long years the dewy black shall clothe me.


Sources: The name "McGuire" has caused confusion in the collection. Because of this annotation, the next two songs by Alexander March have been attributed to a "McGuar?" for the last several years. (See notes for "City of Boston.")


Text notes: A brother challenges a lord who has spoken badly about his sister to a duel.

Tune notes: Very rhythmically free performance. Phrase repetition is aaba' and mode is dorian.

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