The Murder of Timothy McCarthy - An Acadian Lament

The Murder of Timothy McCarthy: An Acadian Lament 

Come close, dear friends, come listen to
My song about a man named McCarthy,
Who was peacefully living in Moncton,
Never thinking his end was so near.
It was the twelfth of October when he took the train
To go buy a horse on the Island,
Passing through Shediac, on his way,
Never thinking his end was so near.
He went to the Weldons to find out
If the evening boat could take him across.
The wind was unfavourable, forcing him to wait,
And that’s what sealed his fate.
He went to the Osbornes to see all his friends,
When he was at the inn, he felt like he was at home.
“How misplaced was my trust, I only realized too late!”
The old woman said to Harry: “He has a lot of money,
How could we go about getting our hands on it?
Give him a carefully prepared powder
That will be just what we need.”

The old woman went into the inn to empty the vials.
She gave him a glass, a little bit of poison.
“One glass is all it will take
And we’ll have the money from his purse.”
When he drank this glass, he collapsed onto the counter,
His words were cut off.
He called for his wife and children.

And also a priest, of course.
The old woman said to Harry: “What shall we do with him?
If we let him live, he will turn us in.
Here, take this axe, and don’t you worry,
A single blow will finish him off.”
The first blow that was struck dropped him to the floor
Blood flowing from his ears, mouth, and nose.
God almighty, what a sight, it was dreadful!
Seeing this man bathed in his own blood.
Parker watched him, watched him while trembling.
The old woman stepped forward, she took his money.
“Here, there’s your share, and don’t you worry.
— Keep all your treasures, I don’t want any.”

Harry fetched the Bible and made Parker swear
Never to say where McCarthy could be found.
A cable and a rock will hold him,
On the river bottom he will stay.
Dear friends, if you want to travel,
Don’t go to the inn where McCarthy went.
Don’t show the money in your purse,
Or your own dear life will meet its end.


Honoré Leblanc
Georges Arsenault Fowke
c. 1877
CANADA Southern New Brunswick, New Brunswick, Southern New Brunswick, CANADA
© 1977, Canadian Journal of Traditional Music. All Rights Reserved.

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