LADY IN THE EAST - (TRAD)
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