The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94726   Message #1836636
Posted By: Dave'sWife
17-Sep-06 - 10:34 AM
Thread Name: Songs of Canadian slavery?
Subject: RE: Songs of Canadian slavery?
Don't know any about slavery but Eileen McGann wrote one about Indentured Servitude: Isabella Gunn:

Discussed in this thread

It's a beatiful song. She writes about many historic Canadian themes and it wouldn't surprise me to learn she'd covered Slavery or the Underground RailRoad.

Isabella Gunn

My name it is Isabella Gunn, I'm a woman both true and strong
From Orkney's rugged Isles I come, but now listen unto my song
When I was young I had a lad, as I loved, so he loved me
Poverty made him sell his land to travel across the sea

It was in the summer of eighteen and six, my lover and I set sail
To stay with him I used my wits and my courage it did not fail
In men's atire I stowed away to join that jolly crew
Side by side we worked each day and only my lover knew

And oh how I loved those rocky cliffs and that windy and treeless shore
And oh how it broke my heart to leave, but I loved my dear one more, one more
But I loved my dear one more.

My love was signed by the Hudson Bay for to be a Voyageur
To map and explore the northern ways, to trade and to transport fur
And if you think I'd be left behind, it's little you understand
For on the very next line I signed for to do the work of a man

And O how I loved the life we led, though my love and I worked apart
But adventure delighted my very soul and the forest had healed my heart

The company signed me to work three years, and well had I proved my worth
But eighteen months fulfilled my fears and I found that I'd soon give birth.
I hoped that the trees would give me rest but they found me where I lay
With my newborn baby at my breast there was little that I could say.

They sent me downriver to wash the clothes of the men I had worked beside
And though I did well enough I suppose, I felt that I'd rather have died.
The only thing that gave me joy, the baby grew strong and hale
And I looked for the day I'd take my boy and we'd follow that northern trail

Oh how I loved those rocky lakes and the stands of birch and pine
And oh in the spring how my heart turned north for to search out this land of mine

My name it is Isabella Gunn and it's many long miles I've roamed
From Orkney's rugged Isles I come, now Canada is my home.
For it's here I've come and here I'll be and Here I'll find my rest
And my son's son's and daughters will follow me in the land that I love the best