MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Banks of the Silver Tide
Monica Rossiter NFLD 1 Tape 7A Track 6
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / murder

It's of a beautiful damsel who lived near the seaside,
She was comely tall and handsome and called the village pride,
Until a bold sea captain young Mary's heart did gain,
To true she was to honour him while on the storming main.

It being in Henry's absence a nobleman there came,
To make love to Mary but she refused the same,
Your vows are in vain whilst on the main there's one alone,
Therefore begone I love but one he is on the silver tide.

Being mad with perservation this nobleman did say,
To prove your separation your life I'll take away,
I will watch you late and early till all alone he cried,
And I'll send your body floating on the banks of the silver tide.

It being scarce three weeks after when Henry returned from sea,
Seeking for his love Mary to appoint their wedding day,
I fear your love is murdered her aged parents cried,
She proved her own destruction on the banks of the silver tide.

Young Henry on his pillow that night could find no rest,
The thoughts of his love Mary disturbed his wounded breast,
He dreamt as he lay sleeping young Mary's corpse he spied,
That was the end of Mary died on the silver tide.

Young Henry rose put on his clothes and at Midnight went straight way,
Seeking for his love Mary down by the raging seas,
At daybreak in the morning young Mary's corpse he spied,
He too himself went floating on the banks of the silver tide,

Right well he knew his own ring she wore on her right hand,
He next unbound a handkerchief that put him to a stand,
The name of her murderer was there in full he spied,
That was the end of Mary died on the silver tide.

This nobleman was taken and the gallows was his doom
For the murdering of a virgin all in her youth and bloom,
Young Henry went distracted and wandered till he died,
His last words was for Mary died on the silver tide.


Sources: Cf. Mackenzie 1928, 147; Randolph I: 368;


Text notes: The singer relates the murder of a woman because she loved one man and refused another (the murderer).

Tune notes: This lovely tune in 4/4 metre is Aeolian or Dorian (no 6 th degree to distinguish them); The "abba" form is characterized by a leap of an ascending 6 th in the "b" phrases, lending emphasis to such words as "handsome" and "Captain." Also note the triplets in this performance in the second "a" phrase.

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