The Old Song Resung

“The Old Song Resung” is a dark lullaby set in the fairy tale world of noblemen, kings and queens but expresses some of the working class concerns of women including unwanted childbirth, the departure of children and injury inflicted by war.

LYRICS

Rockaby Baby, the cradle is green,
Down in the graveyard, thy low bed is seen;
You came unwanted, and yet, strange to say,
Mother wept wildly when you went away

Father’s a nobleman, Mother’s a queen,
(Father is stupid and hungry and lean;
Mother is weary from childbirth and pain,
Afraid that a baby is coming again)

Betty’s a lady and wears a fine ring
(Betty who danced like a bird on the wing;
Betty now dances in town far away;
Her cheeks are too glowing, her laughter too gay)

Johnny’s a drummer and drums for the king,
(A bullet left Johnny a sodden crushed thing!
But Johnny knew glory and mother knew pain
Besides she’s expecting a baby again.}

MLH, 16 August, 1924, p. 3.

By BREAGH MACKINNON

BREAGH MACKINNON- GUITAR, VOCALS AND ORGAN, COLIN GRANT – VIOLIN, RICHARD MACKINNON – BASS, ADAM WHITE – DRUMS 

About Breagh Mackinnon

A celebrated young artist on the East Coast scene, Breagh Mackinnon’s voice takes center stage. Backed with her training as a jazz pianist, Mackinnon draws on her love of contemporary folk and pop music to create a sound that is uniquely her own.
Since releasing her ECMA nominated debut album “Where the Days Went” in 2012, Mackinnon has toured the East Coast and has performed at major festivals across the country. She grew up in a musical family with brothers and a father who are musicians and heard lots of music at house parties. Her song writing styling has been influenced by many genres ranging from her parents’ vinyl collection, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Iron and Wine, Ella Fitzgerald, Imogen Heap, and numerous musicians across the east coast of Canada.

Resources

Elma Ehrlich Levinger (1887 – 1958) is not from Cape Breton Island but we included her in the collection because the Maritime Labour Herald thought her work worthy of publication in the 1920s. Levinger has published more than thirty books for children and several for adults. She studied at the University of Chicago and Radcliffe College in Boston and was interested in Jewish education. She was a prolific writer, a member of the national council of Jewish Women’s National Committee on Religion, the National Council for Prevention of War, the Birth Control League, and Hadassah.

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