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Mary Nail

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Mary Nail

I am a bold undaunted youth, my name is John McCann,
I 'm a native of sweet Denagogue, convenient to Scotland,
Who was stealing of an heiress, and lying long in jail,
Her father swears he'll have my life along with Mary Nail.

While in strong irons I lie bound my love sent word to me
Not to dread her father's anger, she would try and set me free
Although her father gave consent to let me out on bail,
I had to stand my trial for his daughter Mary Nail.

The day of my trial my prosecutor she was to be,
The day of my trial she did try and set me free,
But like a loyal lover to appear she did not fail,
She cleared me from all danger did my charming Mary Nail.

My trial it being over I searched her garden round,
My trial it being over the hedges I made round,
My well-known voice soon reached her ears which covered hill and dale
"You are welcome here, my Johnny dear," cried charming Mary Nail.

Down on the flowery banks we sat, and did we chat a while,
"It's Mary dear, if you'll agree, I'll free you from exile,"
"The Charlie Stewart is ready for Adara for to sail,
And come along with me, my dear," cried charming Mary Nail.

I gave consent, straight home she went and stole her best of clothes
And to no one in the house she ne'er let know the news,
Likewise  500 pounds in ready gold from her father she did steal
And that was twice I did in love my charming Mary Nail.

The coach it was got ready for Adara for to go,
She also bribed the coachman for to let no one know,
He swore he'd keep our secret, his mind would ne'er avail
And off to Quebec I did go along with Mary Nail.

It was on our passage to Quebec my passage she did pay,
It was on our passage to Quebec we under cover lay,
We joined our hands in wedlock bands before we did set sail
Her father's wrath I value not, I have my Mary Nail.

It was on our passage to Quebec our ship did gently glide
It was on our passage to Quebec while on a matchless tide
Until we arrived on Woodland reef we had no cause to fail;
In Guysboro' Bay I thought that day I'd lost my Mary Nail.

On the fourth of June in the afternoon the heavy fog came on
Our captain cried, "Look out, my boy, or surely we're undone"
Our ship against the sandbanks came, she was driven by the gale
And forty-four washed overboard 'long with my Mary Nail.

Soon now I saw her yellow locks come floating by the gale
I jumped into the raging main and saved my Mary Nail.
He father wrote me a letter, gave me to understand
That if I would come back he would give me half his land.

I wrote him back an answer, and that without avail.
5 pounds a week I did receive with charming Mary Nail,
5 pounds a week I did receive with charming Mary Nail,
While ever I lived I'd ne'er deceive my charming Mary Nail.

DT #582
Laws M17
From Creighton, Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia, no.80
collected from Ben Henneberry of Devil's Island, NS

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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