History of Prince Edward Island, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer tells of the "dismal fate" of the Island. He complains that the rich folk of Canada have "made us slaves and sold Prince Edward Isle." He tells of a time of troubles and of many leaving their homes. At last he too must depart
EARLIEST DATE: 1950 (Ives-DriveDullCareAway-PrinceEdwardIsland)
KEYWORDS: Canada lament exile political patriotic
1867 - Prince Edward Island declines to join the newly-formed Canadian Confederation
1873 - Prince Edward Island joins Canada
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 256-257, "The History of Prince Edward Island" (1 text)
Dibblee/Dibblee-FolksongsFromPrinceEdwardIsland, pp. 120-121, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume-CanadasStoryInSong, pp. 108-110, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-DriveDullCareAway-PrinceEdwardIsland, pp. 230-233,253, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-LarryGorman, pp. 46-49, 199, "Prince Edward Island, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [190 words]: According to Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, Prince Edward Island has a long history of trouble with government. The original settlement left the island owned primarily by a handful of absentee landlords who had little sympathy for the common people. When the Canadian Confederation was formed, PEI at first opted out. When Confederation was at last passed, a number of Islanders fled to New England.
Despite their fears, Confederation was probably good for PEI. The Canadian government bought out the absentee landholders, allowing the local residents the chance to own the land.
Various poets have been suggested as the author of the verses. Larry Gorman, naturally, has been mentioned -- but it hardly sounds like his work. Other candidates include Larry Doyle and "a schoolteacher named Fitzgerald." Ives, on pp. 46-50 of Ives-LarryGorman, admits to vacillating in the face of conflicting evidence -- but he prints it..- RBW
Ives-DriveDullCareAway-PrinceEdwardIsland: "Briefly ... it is a ... view of the political situation around 1880.... The song has been a significant presence in Island folklore for over a century." - BS
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