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TB learned this from the wonderful Newfoundland duo Christina Smith and Jean Hewson (whose website is offline at the moment).

Jean writes: "I'm thrilled that you're doing Lady in the East. If I have a favourite track on Like Ducks that would be the one. The song was collected by Canadian folklorist Kenneth Peacock who did a massive amount of collecting here in Newfoundland in the 50's. He got it from singer Charlotte Decker of Parson's Pond Newfoundland in 1958. It appears in Peacock's three volume anthology "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports" published by the National Museum of Canada in 1965. I'd like to say that I learned it from Mrs. Decker myself, but I did get it from the book.....and yes, it's traditional. No known composer."

There was a lady in the east, about the age of twenty

Of sweethearts she had of the best, all lords and squires a plenty

Of sweetheats she had of the best who dearly doted on her

But she did adore her father’s clerk more than those lords and honour


As she was walking to the hall her father chanced to meet her

Why did you throw yourself away, you silly poor fond creature?

But you’d never wed a serving lad, with neither birth nor breeding?

Oh not one pound portion should you have if that was your proceeding


Well down she's gone upon her knees saying Father use your pleasure

But I do adore my jimmy dear more than those lords and treasure

I do adore my Jimmy dear, and for him I am intended

And if the world should smile on us, with him I’ll live contented


There was a table in the hall, a fowling piece lay on it

And through her snowy milk-white breast her father did present it

And the blood it stained her milk-white breast, as she lay down before him

And the very last words that e'er she spoke were I must and I will adore him


And when her father came to see the sin he had committed

He wrung his hands and tore his hair he was a man distracted

Then in ran Jimmy with the rest, saying oh but you are cruel

Why didn’t you lay the blame on me, and spare to me my jewell?


He took his penknife in his hand, saying here I’ll stay no longer

I’ll cut the single thread of life, and with my love I’ll wander

And we buried both all in one grave, for they were two lovers loyal

May the Lord above look down on us, and send us no more trial