An Emigrant's Daughter
I was once young and pretty and my spirit ran free
But destiny tore me from country and loved ones
And from the new land I was never to see.
A poor emigrant's daughter too frightened to know
I was leaving forever the land of my soul
Amid struggle and fear my parents did pray
To place courage to leave o'er the longing to stay.
They spoke of a new land far away 'cross the sea
The seas roared in anger, making desperate our plight
Oh please ne'er forget me though waves now lie o'er me
|Researching my family history for the past thirty years has been both a rewarding hobby and a passion. Occasionally I uncover ancestral stories that really tug at my emotions. Such is the story of my Irish roots. In 1842 my gr gr gr grandfather Samuel Huston, his wife Elizabeth and his four children left County Tyrone Ireland to emigrate to Canada. Their only daughter, also named Elizabeth and whom I believe to have been in her early teens, died during that voyage. I have often thought of how dreadful that journey must have been for them, and it prompted me to write a poem in memory of that young girl to include with my family history notes. More recently, in the course of searching for new traditional tunes for my tunebook and web site, I found a melody that matched both the mood and meter of that poem. The tune is a derivative of an old English song The Grenadier and the Lady; the lyrics are new; the story is Ireland in the 1840's.|
|Barry Taylor, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1998|