"She's Like the Swallow"

"She's Like the Swallow." Distinctive Newfoundland variant of a large family of songs about unhappy love. Both Maud Karpeles (1930) and Kenneth Peacock (1960) collected it, and its beautiful tune has made it popular with many singers and choirs.

"She's Like the Swallow." Distinctive Newfoundland variant of a large family of songs about unhappy love. Both Maud Karpeles (1930) and Kenneth Peacock (1960) collected it, and its beautiful tune has made it popular with many singers and choirs. It has been arranged for choral and other use by many composers, including Peter R. Allen, Keith Bissell, Norman Brown, James Campbell, Craig Cassils, Stephen Chatman, Donald Cook, Alfred Kunz, Ben McPeek, Godfrey Ridout, Harry Somers, Judy Specht, and Peter Tiefenbach; and for piano by Nancy Telfer. It has also been arranged for handbells and for concert band.

The swallow simile seems to be found only in Newfoundland, but the other verses turn up in various British love laments such as "Died for Love" and "Must I Go Bound." Karpeles included it in Folk Songs from Newfoundland (London 1971). It may be heard on the recordings Songs, Fiddle Tunes and a Folktale from Canada (Folk FG-3532), Famous Songs of Newfoundland by Omar Blondahl (Canadian Cavalcade CCLP-2001), and Winter's Gone and Past by the Memorial University Chamber Choir (Waterloo WR-18); and, as "She's Like a Swallow," it was the title song of an LP by Bonnie Dobson. A version sung by Jon Vickers was released by Centrediscs (CMCCD 6398) in 1998.

See also: Folk Music, Anglo-Canadian

Canadian Folk Classics