Skip to main content

Leo Gorman, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives


Scope and Contents

From the Record Group:

MF167.1 consists of interviews conducted by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on Prince Edward Island between 1969 and 1970, as part of his work to document the folk songs of Prince Edward Island, specifically the songs “made by” Joe Scott, Larry Doyle, and Larry Gorman. Material included in this collection served as source material for Ives’ later publications, Lawrence Doyle: The Farmer-Poet of Prince Edward Island (1971); Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs (1977); Joe Scott: The Woodman Songmaker (1978); and Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island (1999). This collection includes recordings of interviews, Ives' field journal, and 17 photographs taken by Ives.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1955-1970


Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (


From the Record Group: 203 items

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English


NA4378 Leo Gorman, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives at his home in Groshaut (St. Charles), P.E.I. on April 1, 1968. In the room for the session are Leo Gorman, age 70, his wife, his daughter Susan, his bachelor brothers John D. and Ambrose, Arthur Cahill, Alphonse Whitty, and Bobby Ives. Ives' notes on this recording: For this first selection, I made a bad blunder by accidentally recording over the first of a session at Gorman's. What follows here came after we had a tea and after we'd all been going at it for a couple of hours or more. I thought I had swapped tapes, but I hadn't. What is on the beginning of this tape should actually follow what comes on the end of side two of this tape. 1. (song) "Howard Carey". Sung by Leo Gorman. Short conversation follows. (At this point the "original" session begins, except for what I accidentally erased. Most of this material I got again the next day, by the way.) 2. (song) "Picnic at Groshaut." Sung by Leo Gorman. Last half only; first half accidentally erased. Some discussion follows. Discusses other singers like Lawrence Jarvis. 3. (song) "When Johnny Went Plowing for Kieran." A few lines only. Sung by Leo Gorman. Recalls seeing Larry Doyle once. Conversation follows. 4. (song) "The Saville Song" (my title). About a fishing boat out of Annandale that almost got wrecked but Saville and MacKenzie brought her through. Song probably about 60 years old. Sung by Leo Gorman. 5. (song) "Bud Jones." Recited. Another LD song. Not complete, he says. At this point we went up to pick up Arthur Cahill (aet.c.82) up the road. He recalled LD and tells us a little about him. Doesn't think he ever made songs that got people mad; recalls a few songs but not enough to sing. 6. (song) "Fogan MacAleer." Sung by Art Cahill. Very complete. End of Side One. 7. (song) "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu." Sung by Art Cahill. Fragment only. 8. (song) "Picnic at Groshaut." Sung by Art Cahill. Good version. Cahill was there. Describes it. 9. (song) "The Millman Song." For a parallel text see Doerflingerm p.285. See also NEF V for a different one. 10. (song) "Bud Jones." By LD. Sung by Art Cahill. 11. (poem) "An Evening at Groshaut." Written by a man named MacCormick. No transcript. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives068.02_cd121_01-mf167_1.1_ives068.02_cd121_14. Time: 00:52:12.

NA4379 Leo Gorman, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives at his home in Groshaut (St. Charles), P.E.I. on April 2, 1968. In the room for the session are Leo Gorman, age 70, his wife and daughter Susan, his bachelor brothers John D. and Ambrose, Arthur Cahill, Alphonse Whitty, and Bobby Ives. Repeat performances of the songs accidentally erased during the first half of the recording session. "Grand River Bear"; "Bay Bridge" [fragment]; "Merchants of the Bay"; "The Callahan Murder”; "Fogan MacAleer"; "Howard Carey"; "Grand River Bear". No transcript. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives068.03_cd122_01-mf167_1.1_ives068.03_cd122_10. Time: 00:31:26

NA4380 Leo Gorman, interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives at his home in Groshaut (St. Charles), P.E.I. on April 2, 1968. Also in the room are Mrs. Gorman and Bobby Ives. Discussion includes mentions of how quick Larry Gorman was to turn a verse. “Picnic at Groshaut.” General conversation about Larry Gorman's life. Discuss the connection between the songs, “The Middleman Trial” and “Mary Tupland.” While Leo Gorman phones his brother John David to come to the house to sing “The Millman Trial,” Mrs. Gorman recites a rhyme she learned in childhood, “There are lots of pretty girls / Up and down up and down Piscat River. / They can sing, they can dance, they can play on the fiddle. / They're as neat around the waist as a cow around the middle.” “Grand River Bear” is sung again and discussion about the horse named in the song. Gorman explains the line, “...their steps were high and light, like a hen would in the night...” from “The Picnic at Groshaut.” Performs “The Grey Mare,” and explains the meaning behind some of the lyrics. Discuss the song, “Cumberland Hill” and the fact Grand River is not on a modern map. John D. Gorman joins the group and sings, “Morrissey and the Black” about an Irish American bare-knuckle boxing champion. “The Millman Murder.” “Bold McCarthy (The City of Baltimore).” No transcript. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives068.04_cd123_01-mf167_1.1_ives068.04_cd123_23. Time: 00:44:55. Photographs: p00752-p00753, p00756-p00757

NA4403 Leo Gorman, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives at Groshaut, [St. Charles] P.E.I., July 21, 1970. Sings songs; discusses songs, farming and travel, trade with other parts of the Island and Nova Scotia; entertainment in the old days. (song) Don Somer's song about P.E.I. boys serving in the war. Speaks of Summers coming to a tea party and peddling his ballads for a dime each. (song) The Harvest Excursion. Discussion about thrashing grain, winter storage. Discussion of Bud Jones, a "lame" black man, and the farmer George Robertson. Discuss Tom Lewis a poet from St. Peters, P.E.I. Mrs. Gorman suggests his poems weren't for "company." Discuss William McCarthy and recites poems McCarthy wrote including one about his wife who died after 53 years of marriage. Discuss concerts and dancing in the past. (song) Boys of the 105th. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives070.08_cd140_01 - mf167_1.1_ives070.08_cd140_18. Time: 00:19:16

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States