MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Drunkard's Dream
Jim Rice NFLD 1 Tape 7A Track 4
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / dream warning

Why Dermott you look healthy now when you dresses neat and plain,
I have never seen you drunk about come tell me where you have been,
Your wife and family all are well you once did use them strange,
But you're more kinder to them now how came that happy change.
It was a dream a warning voice that heaven sent to me,
To keep me from a drunkard's curse of wanting misery,

I dreamt one night I staggered home it being a sudden gloom,
I missed my wife where can she be and stranger's in the room.
I hear dem say: "Poor thing she's dead she's lived a wretched life,
Twas grief and want that broke her heart for she was a drunkard's wife."

I saw my children weeping round I scarce could draw my breath,
I called and kissed her once warm lips was forever cold as death,
Now Mary speak one word to me no more I'll cause you pain,
No more I'll grieve your loving heart nor ever drink again.

Now Mary speak why Dermot calls "Why so I do she cried,"
I woke and saw my Mary dear was kneeling by my side,
I pressed her to my throbbing heart while joyful tears did stream,
But ever since l've heaven blessed for sending me that dream.


Sources: Mercer 114, Greenleaf 151; Recorded by Tommy Nemec on Tommy Nemec. Songs from the Cape . (BackCove 2003); Roud 722.


Text notes: A man quits drinking after revealing a frightening prophetic dream.

Tune notes: An "abca" form in which the cadence of the "a" and "b" phrases is the same. The melody uses a melodic minor scale.

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