MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Sally Monroe
James Maher NFLD 1 Tape 16 Track 5
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad / love foiled, shipwreck Laws K11

Come all ye good people I hope ye'll attend
To those simple verses that I have lately penned
It is concerning dangers that I did undergo
For that lovely young fair one young Sally Monroe

Now my name is Johnny Aiken I'm a blacksmith by trade
Twas in the town of Nero where I was born and reared
From that down to Belfast a walking I did go
Where I became acquainted with young Sally Monroe

I told this fair one a letter I would send
I'd send It by a messenger I thought he was a friend
Instead of being a friend of mine to me he proved a foe
And he never gave that letter to young Sally Monroe

He told her old mother for to beware of me
That I had a wife in my own country
And said her old mother since, "I have found him so
He never will enjoy my young Sally Monroe."

For six months or better no news did I hear
From that pretty fair one whom I loved so dear
Till one Sunday evening a-walking I did go
And who should I meet but young Sally Monroe

I said, "My pretty fair one if you'll come long with me
Unknown to friends and parents that married we will be."
"I have no objection along with you I'll go
Providing you'd prove loyal to young Sally Monroe."

Oh twas down to split pines the good ship did lie
Four hundred and seventy souls all ready for to go
We both paid our passage and on board we did go
And twas there I embarked with young Sally Monroe

Twas on Sunday morning about six o'clock
When all of a sudden our ship she struck a rock
Four hundred and seventy souls were all down below
And down among that number went young Sally Monroe

Oh twas true from her parents I stole her away
And this will shock my feelings till my dying day
It wasn't for to injure her that ever I done so
All my lifetime I'll mourn for young Sally Monroe


Sources: Mercer 174; Laws K11; Leach 108; Greenleaf 1968: 120, Peacock 488; Henry 571; Roud 526.


Text notes:One of the many ballads about the challenges to true love.   Here Jim Dixon sends a letter to Sally via a friend who hides the letter. Jim and Sally meet nevertheless and are wed. They sail for Quebec, but are shipwrecked, and Sally drowns.

Tune notes: This melody in a major key and 4/4 metre has an abcd phrase pattern characterized by the rise in pitch at the end of the third phrase and higher fourth phrase.

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.