MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Fair Jennie on the Moor
Mrs. Peter Mushrow NFLD 1 Tape 18A Track 1
Cape Ray Audio:
Ballad / lover's return Laws N34

I took a walk one morning down by some shady side
The sun was gently rising and protected of her pride
I saw a handsome fair one sitting by her cottage door
With roses blooming on her cheeks fair Jennie on the moor

I said, "My handsome fair one why so early do you rise?"
"I love to take the morning air, it's lighter than the skies."
We both sat down together down by some shady side
I said, "My dear if you consent I will make you my bride."

"I have a true love of my own gone to some foreign shore
And I will wait for his return," cried Jennie on the moor.
"You have a true love of your own pray tell to me his name."
"His name it was young Dennis Ryan from New York town he came."

"Your true love's name was Dennis Ryan, I know him very well.
Twas fighting at the Alma war by an angry ball he fell."
Those words were deeply wounded, like breakers they did roar
Proud is the man that gains the hand of Jennie on the moor.

"Since you have been so kind and true, stand up my love," he cried.
"Behold I am your Dennis Ryan, here standing by your side.
Come let us be united, live happy on the shore.
Where bells do ring and birds do sing I'll go to sea no more."


Sources: Mercer 138; Laws N 34 ("Janie of the Moor"); Leach 302 ("Janie on the moor"); Greenleaf 1968: 180; Henry 107; Roud 581.

History: There is a reference to the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War, 1854.

Text notes: The singer meets Janie and proposes marriange. She says she will remain true to her love Dennis Ryan (sometimes Dennis Riley in other variants). In some versions, she produces a broken ring as a token. Here, he first tells her that Dennis died. But then, he reveals that he is none other than Dennis.   Compare "John Riley" and "George Riley."

Tune notes: Basically triple metre, but sung freely. The melodic form is abaab.

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