She's Like the Swallow
DESCRIPTION: "She's like a swallow that flies so high, She's like a river that never runs dry, She's like the sunshine on the lee shore, I love my love and love is no more." A lament for a lost girl: "She laid her down, no word she spoke, until [her] heart was broke"
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland)
KEYWORDS: death separation loneliness
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Peacock, pp. 711-714, "She's Like the Swallow" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Fowke/Johnston-FolkSongsOfCanada, pp. 140-141, "She's Like the Swallow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/MacMillan-PenguinBookOfCanadianFolkSongs 63, "She's Like the Swallow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland 83, "She's Like the Swallow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-TraditionalSingersAndSongsFromOntario 57, "She's Like a Swallow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl-NewfoundlandersSing, p. 120, "She's Like the Swallow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 150, "She's Like The Swallow" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Neil V. Rosenberg, "'She's Like the Swallow': Folksong as Cultural Icon" (article printed in _Newfoundland and Labrador Studies_, Volume 22, No. 1, pp. 75-114; includes every known traditional text and tune)
Anita Best and Pamela Morgan, "She's Like the Swallow" (on NFABestPMorgan01)
Omar Blondahl, "She's Like the Swallow" (on NFOBlondahl05)
NOTES [100 words]: Fowke observes, "The lines suggest an English origin, and probably they formed part of a longer song [perhaps similar to "The Butcher Boy"?], but the years have polished the fragment that survives until it approaches perfection."
The Rosenberg article cited above includes all traditional versions known (e.g. those collected by Karpeles, Peacock, and Fowke), and discusses how both Karpeles and Peacock fiddled with the texts of the versions they collected in their printed versions. Thus the famous recordings of this song are in fact modified versions. For details, see the Rosenberg article. - RBW
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