MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Henry Green
Will O'Brien NFLD 1 Tape 9A Track 1
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / murder Laws F14

Female voice: (speaks) Okay

(speaks) Sing away, eh? (Laughs)

Female voice: (speaks) Yes

You people all both great and small come hear a story told,
And when you hear all of it 'twill make your blood run cold,
It's of a beautiful woman Miss Wyatt it was her name,
Was murdered by her husband and he'll hang for the same.

Miss Wyatt I'm told was handsome and of a high degree,
Young Henry was wealthy she was not so rich as he,
He goes unto his Mary and this to her did say,
"My love when shall we get married I pray you will name the day?"

"Now Henry dearest Henry it's a thing I could not do,
For you got proud relations, I'm not so rich as you,
And when your parents would come to know they'll scorn us from their door,
I'd rather you'd marry some other girl with wealth laid up in store."

"Now Mary lovely Mary why do you talk with me so,
I'll swear by all that's sacred to you I'll ever prove true."
Twas little did she ever think nor how could she ever expect,
That he would shortly take the name he'd sworn to protect.

They were scarcely three weeks married when she was taken ill,
The doctors they were called on to use their utmost skill,
They did their best in every way her precious life to save,
But very soon it was forclaimed she should go down to the grave.

Now when her brothers came this to hear straightway to Mary go,
"Now sister are you dying pray tell us is it so,
Has anyone a poisoned you who once you thought your friend,
Do not deny before you die do not the guilty defend."

"As I am on my dying bed I own that I must die,
As I am going to face my God the truth I'll never deny,
Young Henry Green has poisoned me come quickly for him send,
I love him still, oh, just as well as when he was my friend."

Young Henry Green was summonsed his dying wife to see.
She says three times, "Now Henry, were you ever deceived by me?"
He gazed on her one loving look and fell into a dark swoon,
He gazed on her with tearful eyes in silence left the room.

An inquest o'er the body according to the law,
Twas sentenced by a doctor that poison was the cause,
Young Henry he was taken and lodged in Tory jail,
Now waiting for his day of trial for the court would take no bail.

The morning of his trial he was brought up to the stand,
To answer for the blackest crime committed in our land,
Three times he pleaded innocent he did her friends deny,
And sentenced by Judge Parker he was condemned to die.


Notes

Sources: Mercer 131; Laws F14; Leach 252; also Peacock 624, 626 ("Murder of Miss Wyatt"); Roud 693.

History:  

Text notes: Recounts the tragic murder of a young girl by her husband.

Tune notes: Mr. O'Brien's tune is similar to the one published by Peacock. A Dorian melody, sung freely in 4/4 metre, with an "abba" form. Leach also collected this from Pat Murphy of Calvert.

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