Ay ending

hpst@earthlink.net hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Dec 15 15:34:15 UTC 2006

Whatever the ay pronunciation is related to The Leaving of Liverpool is a beautiful song with a wonderful tune.
You will note in both of the songs I am putting up that the ay ending at least in these two song versions alternates with the more standard pronunciation.
I am not an expert on this subject but this appears to tell me that the ay ending was used for comic effect.
Page Stephens
Fare well to Princes landing stage
Mersey River, fare thee well
I am bound for Califor-ny-ay
A place I know right well
Alternate first verse
Farewell to you my own true love
I am going far away
I am bound for Californ-ny-ay
But I know Ill return someday
So fare thee well my own true love
And when I return, united we will be
Its not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me
But my darling when I think of thee
I am bound for California
By the way of the stormy Cape Horn
And Ill write to you a letter, love
When I am homeward bound
I have signed on a Yankee clipper ship
Davy Crockett is her name
And Burgess is the captain of her
And they say she is a floating shame
I have sailed with Burgess once before
And I think I know him right well
If a man is a sailor, he can get along
But if not than hes surely in hell
Oh, the fog is on the harbor love
And I wish I could remain
But I know it will be some long time
Before I see you again
Then, of course there is:
Come all ye jolly fellows,
How would you like to go
And spend the winter in the woods
Of Canaday-I-O?

We're go-ing up to Canaday
Is what we young men say,
And going up to Canada
Depends upon the pay.

It's "Sure we'll pay good wages
We'll pay your passage out
But you must sign the papers
That you will stay the route.

"But if you should get homesick
And say back home you'll go
We will not pay your passage
>From Canaday-I-O"

We had a pleasant journey
The route we had to go
Then we landed in Three Rivers
in Canaday-I-O.

O, then the Norcross agent
He come a-prowlin' round
And said, "My jolly fellows
Why don't you all lay down?"

Our food the dohs would bark at
Our beds were in the snow,
We suffered worse than poison there
In Canaday-I-O.

>From Folk Songs of Old New England, Linscott
Collected from Sam Young, ME, 1889
note: It is said to have been composed by Ephraim Braley...about 1854.  The
     song  is based on an older lovesong, Caledonia, first printed in  1800
     in "The Caledonian Garland" (notes from Linscott, summarized RG)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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