Peter Emberley by John Calhoun

The song Peter Emberley was written by John Calhoun and sung by Wilmot Macdonald.

John Calhoun
Wilmot Macdonald
c. 1959
New Brunswick, CANADA
© 1962, Folkways Records & Service. All Rights Reserved.



1. My name ‘tis Peter Emberley as you may understand,
I belong to Prince Edward’s Island near to the ocean strand,
In eighteen hundred and eighty when the flowers in brilliant hue
I left my native counteree my fortune to pursue.

2. I landed in New Brunswick, that lumbering counteree,
I hired to work in the lumber woods which proved my destiny,
I hired to work in the lumber woods to cut the spruce trees down,
It was loading two sleds on the yards I received my deathly wound.

3. Now there’s danger on the ocean where the seas rolls mountains high,
There’s danger in the battlefield where the angry bullets fly,
There’s danger in the lumber woods and death lurks silently there
And I have proved a victim to death’s great monstrous snare.

4. Here’s adieu unto Prince Edward’s Isle, that garden in the sea,
No more I’ll walk her flowery banks to enjoy a summer breeze,
No more I’ll view her galliant ships as they go sailing by
With her streamer floating in the wind above her canvas high.

5. Here’s adieu unto my father, ‘twas him who drove me here.
I think him very cruel, his treatment most severe.
It is not right to press a boy nor try to keep him down
For it ofttimes drives him from his home when he is far too young.

6. Here’s adieu unto my greatest friend, I mean my mother dear,
She reared a son who fell as soon as he left her tender care.
It’s little did my mother think when she sang lullabies
It’s what land I might travel in or what death I might die.

7. Here’s adieu unto my younger friend and the island girl so true,
Long may they live to enjoy that isle where my first breath I drew,
But the time will pass on just as fast as before I passed away,
What signify a mortal man that organized for clay.

8. Now there is a world beyond the tomb, to it I’m nearing on,
For man is more than mortal and death can ever come,
The mist of death does blind my eyes and I’m no longer here,
My spirit takes its final flight, so now I must leave here.

9. But I hope my heavenly father will bless my precious grave,
It’s to near the city of Boiestown where my mouldering bones do lie,
To wait my Saviour’s calling on the great judgement day.

- Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick, pp. 231 - 232

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