MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight?
Catherine Powers NFLD 1 Tape 5A Track 8
Pouch Cove Audio:
Ballad: deception

One night it was dark and was stormy
Along came a tramp in the rain
He was making his way to some station
To catch a long distant train

"May I sleep in your barn tonight mister
It is cold and I'm out on the ground
And the cold north winds they are whistling
And I have no place to lie down."

"I have no tobacco or matches
And I fear I won't do you no harm
I will tell you my story kind mister
For it runs through my heart like a song."

"It was just a year ago last summer
I shall never forget that sad day
When a stranger came out from the city
And he said that he wanted to stay"

"Oh, this stranger was fair, tall and handsome
And he looked like a man who had wealth
And he said that he came to this country
Said he was staying there for his health."

"One night as I came from my workshop
I was whistling and singing with joy
I was expecting a kind-hearted welcome
From my own darling wife and my boy."

"But what did I find but a letter
It was placed in the room on the stand
And the moment my eyes fell upon it
I took it right up in my hands"

"Oh this note said my wife and the stranger
You are gone and have taken my son
And I wonder if God up in heaven
Only knows what the stranger has done."




Text: The singer recounts a visit by a stranger who asks to sleep in his barn but leaves with his wife and son by morning.

Tune notes:

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.