MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Nightingale Laurels
Mike Kent NFLD 1 Tape 8A Track 11
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad /love rejected

Once I had a true love but now she is gone,
She's gone and she left me I'm here all alone,
But since she is gone contented I'll be,
For I know she loves someone far better than me.

Green grows the laurels and soft falls the dew,
Sad was my heart when I parted from you,
But in our next meeting I'll have you to know,
Young girls are deceitful where ever you go.

I pass my loves windows both early and late,
And the looks that she gave me t'would make your heart ache,
The looks that she gave me sixteen thousand would kill,
For I know I'm the only one that she do love still.

I wrote her a love letter with red rosy lines,
She wrote me back another all tangled like twine,
Saying you keep your love letters and I will keep mine,
You write to your love and I'll write to mine.

Once I was as fair as a red flashing rose,
Now I'm as pale as the lily that grows,
Like a flower in the garden all covered with dew,
Don't you see what I've come to for the loving of one.


A song with this title, but with a different narrative, is seemingly better known. A variant of it was recorded by Mike Kent (see Taft 89); In it, a soldier plays a fiddle to a lady and she falls in love with him, asking him to marry her; he refuses since he has a wife at home. It is cited by Mercer 161; Laws P14; Karpeles 232; Peacock 594 ("The Soldier and the Lady").           


Text notes: A shepherd asks a girl to marry him. At first she agrees that she will marry him when she is twenty-one, but she changes her mind and rejects him.

Tune notes:   This is a major key melody in triple metre and "abca'" form.

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.