MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Jealous Lover
Theresa White NFLD 1 Tape 15A Track 6
Port au Port Audio:
Ballad / seduction-murder Laws F1

Way down a lone green valley where the roses bloom and fade
There lived a jealous lover in love with a beautiful maid
One night the stars shine brightly the night birds sang a song
The jealous lover grew angry with the beautiful maiden he loved

Tonight the stars shine brightly and softly the wind do blow
Down to the maiden's cottage the jealous lover grew
"Come love and we will wander down where the woods are gay
Together we will wander and appoint our wedding day."

So arm in arm they wandered down where the woods are gay
"I'm growing tired and weary," she said, "I'm afraid to say.
Oh 'Willie I am weary. May I retrace my way?"
"Retrace your steps no never for you have met your doom.
Oh bid farewell forever to your parents friends and home."

Down on her knees before him she pleaded for her life
When deep into her bosom he plunged the fatal knife
"Oh, Willie, my own poor darling, why have you taken my life?
You know I always loved you and wanted to be your wife

"Oh Willie tell my mother that I am dying here
So she could come and see me and read for me one prayer."
"No I won't tell your mother that you are dying here
So she won't come to see you nor read for you one prayer."

"Oh God forgive you Willie," that was her dying breath
"I will forgive you Willie," and she closed her eyes in death
He buried her quite lonely under a willow tree
And left only the snowbirds to bear her company.


Sources: Mercer 138;   Laws F1 "Florella" or Laws F2, both on similar themes ; Leach 262; Fowke 1994: 86; Roud 500; see for other variants..

History: Laws attributes this ballad to North America since it has not been collected in Britain or Ireland.

Text notes: A story of seduction and murder in which a jealous lover kills his girlfriend.

Tune notes: Leach also collected this ballad from Eddy Primroy of Pouch Cove and Mary Dunphy of Tors Cove.  The Primroy and White tunes are the same while Mary Dunphy's tune is different, even though the basic structure (triple metre, abab' pattern) are the same as the other two. Indeed, Dunphy's tune would actually harmonize the first tune.

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