MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Pat Sullivan NFLD 1 Tape 6A Track 17
Calvert Audio:
Ballad / virtuous woman

'Twas a cold winter's night as the tempest was snarling
The snow like a sheet covered cabin and stile
When Barney flew over the hills to his darling
And tapped at the window where Cathy did lie

"Adieu!" cried he, "Are you sleeping or waking
The night's fair cold and my coat it is thin
The storm it's a-brewin the frost it's a-bakin
Kathleen Mavoureen you must let me in."

"I'm accursed," cried she as she spoke through the window
"Would you be taking me out of my bed
To come at this time it's a shame and a sin too
'Tis whiskey not love that's got into your head.''

"If your heart it was true of my fame you'd be tender
Consider the time and there's nobody in
Oh, what have a poor girl but her name to defend her
Oh Barney Mavoureen I won't let you in."

"I'm accursed," cried he, "if my heart was a fountain
I'd side for your arms it might lie at your door
If your heart was as white as the snows on the mountain
And Barney would die to preserve it as sure.''

''I'll go to my home though the wild winds hit me
I'll whistle . I'm happy within
And the words of my Kathleen will comfort and bless you
Oh Barney . I won't let you in.''

(speaks) Now that's it sure


Sources: Mercer 97 ("Barney and Katie"); Leach 88 ("Barney Flew Over the Hills to His Darling" (Barney and Katie); Laws O21; Roud 992;


Text notes: Barney comes to Katie's door. She rebuffs him since it would tarnish her name to let him in. He goes home proud of her virtue.

Tune notes: A relatively fast tempo melody in a major key (but without the seventh), and an "ab a cd" form.

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