MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Slaney Side
Bride Duggan NFLD 1 Tape 7A Track 8
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / love across social classes

Male voice: (speaks) Alright

I am a rambling hero by love I am ensnared,
It's near the town of (?) there dwells a comely maid,
She's fairer than Diana Bright she's free from earthly pride,
She's a lovely maid her dwelling place lies near the Slaney side.

For 8 long years we counted till at length we did agree,
For to acquaint our parents and married we would be,
Till at length her cruel father to me he proved unkind,
Which makes me sail across the seas and leave my love behind.

Her golden hair in ringlets fair hung down her snowy neck,
The glances of her beauty would save a ship from wreck ivory wide,
With her two big blooming sparkling eyes and her teeth like the,
She'd make a man become her slave down by the Slaney side.

Farewell unto my parents to my love I'll bid adieu,
On crossing o'er the ocean all for the sake of you,
And if ever I do return again I will make you my bride,
I'll roll her in my arms down by the Slaney side.


Sources: Mercer 178, Peacock 592-3 (one variant called "The Tanyard Side"). Laws M28 ("The Tanyard Side"); Henry 526; Roud 1021.

History: Irish song. Note Peacock's rather scathing comment about too many Irish song books!

Text notes: The singer wants to marry a girl who lives on the side of the river Slaney. Her parents say no. He goes away (or is sent away in some variants), vowing to marry her if he returns.

Tune notes: This key implies a major key but has no fourth degree. The form is abba characterized by a descending "a" phrase.

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