Skip to main content

Miramichi Folksong Festival Collection

Identifier: MF102

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a series of interviews relating to the Miramichi Folksong Festival and recordings of various years of the festival.


  • Creation: 1950s-1980s


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 (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. Known restrictions on NA0850.


The Miramichi Folksong Festival takes place annually in Newcastle, New Brunswick. It was founded by Louise Manny in 1958 as a means of showcasing and preserving the traditional songs and ballads of New Brunswick, especially those found in the Miramichi River region.


11 items

Language of Materials



NA0622 Wilmot MacDonald and Peter Shepheard, interviewed by Florence Ireland, August 10-11, 1970, Newcastle and Glenwood, New Brunswick. Also present and adding to the discussion are Lena MacDonald, Lena Shepheard, and Bob Ireland. MacDonald and Shepheard talk about the Miramichi Folksong Festival and sing some songs.

Text: 4 pp. catalog; 16 pp. transcript of the interview done on the 11th Recording: mfc_na0622_t0341_01, mfc_na0622_t0341_02, mfc_na0622_t0342_01, mfc_na0622_t0343_01, mfc_na0622_t0343_02 6 hours

NA0850 John Underhill, Mrs. John Ryan, John Holland, Marie Hare, Perley Hare, Finvola Reddin, and more, interviewed by Helen Creighton, 1958, New Brunswick, donated by James Reginald Wilson, spring 1975. Two recordings containing interviews conducted by Creighton with some of the participants from the First Annual Miramichi Folksong Festival. The recordings were made after the festival was over and were supplied to Edward D. “Sandy” Ives by Wilson. Singers and informants include Underhill (Northwest Bridge), Ryan (Nordin), Holland (Glenwood), the Hares (n. p.), and Reddin (n. p.). Songs include “Banks of the Gaspereaux,” “Jam on Gerry’s Rock,” “Gallant Brigantine,” “Jeannie Ferguson,” “Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife,” “The Stowaway,” “Napan Heroes,” “James McGee,” “Banks of the Little Eau Plaine” (sung by John Holland who says he learned the song in the woods), “Will a Monkey Climb a Tree,” “First Young Man Came a Courting Me,” “Banks of Mullin Stream,” “On the Banks of the Clyde,” “Jones Boys” (sung by John Underhill who learned this song around 1910-1915 in the lumber camps), and several others.

Text: brief catalog, 9 pp. index Recording: mfc_na0850_t0788_01, mfc_na0850_t0789_01 2 hours

NA0851 Billy Price, interviewed by James Reginald Wilson, August 4, 1960, September 4, 1960, and August 23, 1962, McNamee, New Brunswick. Price, guide and lumberman, sings his own songs, including “Dungarvon Whooper,” “Messenger Song,” “Pride of Glencoe,” “Dark Eyed Sailor,” “Benjamin Deane” [recited], “Banks of the Gaspereaux,” “The Soldier’s Prayer,” “Dan Curvy [Curry],” “Peter Emberly,” “Eliza Long,” “Mantle of Green,” “Maid of Dunmore,” “The Apprentice Boy,” “The Blue Eyed Boy,” “The Weaver’s Daughter,” “Benjamin Deane,” “On Board the Victory,” “Captain Moore,” “Banks of the Claudie,” “James MacDonald,” “Effie the Maid of the Mill,” “The Winding Shores,” “The Sku-balled Mare,” and others. Also, two clippings “Miramichi Ballad History Recalled” [1961, about Peter Emberly] and “The Days of Duffy Gillis” [poem dated 1899].

Text: brief catalogs, two clippings Recording: mfc_na0851_t0790_t0791_01, mfc_na0851_t0790_t0791_02, mfc_na0851_t0791_t0792_01 2 hours

NA0852 Irvine Van Horne, interviewed by James Reginald Wilson, August 15, 1963, Bloomfield Ridge, New Brunswick. Horne sings and discusses two songs and recites part of a third. Songs are “Donahue’s Spree” and “The County Line” (also known as “The Rose Ann Song”). The third piece is untitled, but is about “Rocky Brook” [fragment]. Woods poet and song maker Larry Gorman is mentioned briefly in the interview. Accession consists of the tape and a rough transcript, including song lyrics.

Text: 9 pp. rough transcript Recording: mfc_na0852_t0793_01 1 hour

NA0854 Miramichi Folksong Festival performers, recorded by Helen Creighton, August 12, 13, and 14, 1963, Newcastle, New Brunswick, donated by James Reginald Wilson 1975. Accession consists of three recordings containing songs and ballads performed at the annual Miramichi Folksong Festival August 12, 13, and 14, 1963 recorded presumably by folklorist, Helen Creighton. Singers featured on the tapes include Nick Underhill, Allan Kelly, Wilson Jonah, Joe Esty, Mrs. Allen MacDonald, Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, Stanley MacDonald, Arch MacDonald, Perley Hare, Mrs. Edmund Richardson, Mrs. Velma Kelly, Albert Peters, Frank and Ray Esty, and others. Accession envelope contains a rough log of tape contents.

Text: 15 pp. index Recording: mfc_na0854_t0798_t0799_01-mfc_na0854_t0801_t0802_02 5 hours

NA1008 Ninth Annual Miramichi Folksong Festival, recorded by Norman Cazden, August 1966, Miramichi, New Brunswick. Collection of tunes sung at the Ninth Annual Miramichi Folksong Festival, August 15 - 17, 1966. Handwritten notations of tunes with notes.

Text: 25 pp. catalog and handwritten music sheets

NA1526 Miramichi Folksong Festival, interviewed by Lee Swearingen, summer 1972, Newcastle, New Brunswick. Brief category of songs and performers. Recording of 1972 Miramichi Folksong Festival. Lists the artists and songs they performed along with an co-contributors to the specific song.

Recording: mfc_na1526_t1623_01-mfc_na1526_t1625_02 4 hours Photos: P00426 - P00431

First Night songs include: "O Canada"; "The Bull Song" sung by Wilmot MacDonald; "Pride of Glenco" sung by Paul Kingston; "Jolly Old Timers" played by Mr. & Mrs. Hagarty & Phyllis MacLean; "Very Seldom" sung by Angelo Doran; "O Fair Germaine the Lovely" sung by Allan Kelly; "Just Before the Battle, Mother" sung by Samuel Jagoe; "The Grand Miramichi" sung by Susan Butler; "Old-Time Fiddling" played by Warren McCoombs & Joel Schimberg, also by Kathy Schimberg; "The Wexford Lass" sung by Arthur MacDonald; "Green Valley" sung by Marie Hare; "The Soldier's Last Letter" sung by Mrs. Earl J. Dickenson; "The Old Beggar Man" sung by Delton Brown; "The Jam on Gerry's Rock's" sung by Frank and Roy Estey; "Free and Easy" sung by Mrs. Allen MacDonald; "Golden Glow" sung by Alex Milson; "Comlainte d'une Femme" sung by Mrs. Amelia Goodin; "Jolly Old Timers"; "Miramichi Fire" sung by Charles Slane; "Baggage Coach Ahead" sung by Mrs. Janie Keating & Addie McKinley; "Coal Miner's Daughter" sung by Mary Jeanette Malley; "Peel Head" sung by Charles Butlery; "Le Soldat" sung by Mrs. Norma Ferron; "Bon Soir Mes Amis" sung by Mrs. Leo Mitchell; "God Save the Queen". Second Night songs include: "Little Willie" by Wilmot MacDonald; "Bunchy River" by Paul Kingston; "Jolly Old-Timers" played by Mr. & Mrs. Haggarty & Phyllis MacLean; "O Grande Berger" sung by Allen Kelly; "No Business of Mine" sung by Angelo Dornan; "Souvenir d'un Vieillard" sung by Mrs. Joesphine Breau; "Shadow of the Pines" sung by Samuel Jagoe; "The Lady" (a tribute to Dr. Louise Manny) sung by Susan Butler; "Irish Rebel Spy" sung by Arthur MacDonald; "Walter Mullin" sung by Marie Hare; "The Knoxville Girl" sung by Mrs. Earl J. Dickson; "The Old Elm Tree" sung by Delton Brown; "The Rancher's Daughter" sung by Frank & Ray Estey; "Guy Reid" sung by Perley Hare; "Coloreen Shore" sung by Mrs.Allen M. MacDonald; "Middle Island Causeway" sung by Alex Milson; "Alphabet Song" sung by Mrs. Amelia Goodin; "If You'll Only Leave Liquor Alone" sung by Shirley Fitzpatrick; "Bruce's Log Camp" sung by Charles Slane; "There's a Pretty Spot in Ireland" sung by Mrs. Janie Keating & Mrs. Addie McKinley; "Letter to Heaven" sung by Mary Jeanette Malley; "Pitwood Pete" sung by Charles Butler; "File Malade" by Mrs. Norma Ferron; "I Went to the Market" sung by Mrs. Leo Mitchell.

NA1989 Allan Kelley, Leontine Kelley, Velma Kelley, Perley Hare, Marie Hare, and Miramichi Folksong Festival, interviewed by Margaret Steiner, summer 1986, New Castle, New Brunswick. Recordings of and from the 29th Miramichi Folk Festival.

Text: 15 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na1989_c0474_01-mfc_na1989_c0482_02 9 hours

Festival songs include: "O Canada"; "Lumberman's Alphabet" & "The Alimony Song" sung by Mayor John McKay; "Oh Susannah" & "The Lightning Express" & "The Steamer Alexander" & "Between Two Trees" & "Let Us Stay Since The Wine Is Good" (in French) & "When It's Springtime In New Castle" sung by Allen Kelley; "Mantle Oh So Green" & "Oh Beautiful Miramichi" & "Billy Grimes the Drover"& "The Lost Jimmy Whalen" & "Walter Mullen" & "Swinging In The Lane" & "The Miramichi Rose" & "The Flying Cloud" sung by Marie Hare; "Golden Slippers" & "Nobody's Business" & "My Silver Bells" & "The New Brunswick Breakdown" played by Billy Breedeau; "Annie Franklin" & "On The Banks of the Pamanaw" & "What The Stranger Had Done ?" sung by Seraphie Martin; "The Banks Of The Miramichi" & "Rocky Brook" sung by the Upper Miramichi Choral Society; "Duffy's Hotel" & "New Brunswick Is The Province For Me" & "Redwing" & "Ask Me Not Of Gentle Savior" & "Goin' To The Barn Dance Tonight" sung by Aubrey Hansen; "The Road To Boisetown" played by Aubrey Hansen; "Lord Breaverbrook's Special" & "Prince Charles Waltz" & "Where Did You Go Fiddlin' Joe" & "Rubber Dolly" & "The Miramichi Jig (Off We Go To Miramichi)" & "St. Anne's Reel" & "The Irish Washerwoman" & "Calypso" & "Salina" played by Ned Landry; "I Have Lost My Darling" & "In A Beautiful Yodel Valley" sung by Germaine Smith; "May There Always Be A Southwest Miramichi" & "The Jam On Gerry's Rock" & "Leslie Allen" sung by Alexander Baisley; "When It's Folk Festival Time on the Miramichi" & "Shantyboys" & "Young Charlotte" sung by Velma Kelley; "The Maid Form Tide Head" & "Rolling Home" & "The Faithful Sailor Boy" sung by Capt. Glenn Leland; "The Spinning Wheel" & "The Bartibogue"& "Chainsaw Ned And Mosquito Sue" & "The Bean Crock" sung by Cathy Daigle; "Peel Head" & "Roger The Miller" sung by Robert McKay; "When It's Springtime in Newcastle" & The Chatham Bridge" & "This Land Is Your Land" sung by Robert Frazier; "Pat Murphy" & "Patrick O'Donnal" & "Green Valley" sung by Anthony Ward; "The Bluebird" & "Bon Soir Mes Amis" & "The Mystical Miramichi" & "On The Banks Of The Miramichi" sung by Susan Butler; "Black Rock" & "I Shall Be Released" & The Oldest Baby In The World" & "Please Come to Boston" sung by folksong group Off The Cuff; "Billy Be Fairs" sung by Kelley Smith; "The Bluebird" & "Duffy's Hotel" & "Wildcat On The ?" sung by Gary Sillicker; "Beautiful Country Lover" & "Home Brew Song" sung by George Fulton; "Peelhead" sung by John Butler; "Bonnie Mary of Argyles" & "All Through The Night" played by Clarence Lynch; "Thom of Bedlam" & "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" & "Come Ye Over To France" & "The Cape Breton Lullaby" & "Prince Edward Adieu" & "Treasures of My Heart" sung by Theresa Doyle; "Peter Emberly" & "Alimony" sung by Jesse & Dallas MacDonald; "Lurgan's Stream" sung by Marge Steiner; "The Nappan Heros" sung by Hubert Sweezy; "We Don’t Call It Heaven We Call It Miramichi" & "The Dungarvon Whooper" sung by Charlie Slane; "Guy Reed" & "The Banks Of The Clyde" & "Skunk Recitation" & "The Garden Gate" & "Lizzie's Canoe" & "The Miramichi Fire" & "The Scow On The Cowden Shore" & "The Little Bull Song" & "My Pretty.”

NA1990 Miramichi Folksong Festival, recorded by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, August 3-5, 1987, Lord Beaverbrook Town Hall, Newcastle, New Brunswick. Recording of the 30th Miramichi Folksong Festival. Also includes programs and newspaper clippings relating to Festival.

Text: programs and newspaper clippings Recording: mfc_na1990_c0483_01-mfc_na1990_c0488_02 6 hours approx.

First Night songs include: "Lumberman's Alphabet" sung by Mayor McKay; "The Mantle So Green" sung by Marie Hare; "Gay Breed" sung by Perley Hare; "Willy Taylor" sung by Saraphine Martin; "Miramichi River" sung by Reg Lynch; "Jam On Gerry's Rock" sung by Alex Baisley; "Yuon, Yum Duvelle ?" sung by Hubert Sweeney; "Wildcat On The Pipeline" & "Barrett's Privateers" sung by Gary Silliker & 8 others; "A First Rose Of Summer ?" played by Clarence Lynch on the violin; "Escuminac Disaster" sung by Cathy Daigle; "The Bluebird" sung by Raia Van Ingen; "The Banks Of The Miramichi" sung by Robert McKay; "Star of Logy Bay" sung by Capt. Glen Lealand; "Duffy's Hotel" sung by Susan Butler; also includes other songs performed by St. John's Folk Club, and Alexander Kelly. Second Night songs include: "O'Canada" sung by Mary Butler and Vera Campbell; "False Night upon the Road" sung by Allen Kelley; "Green Valley" sung by Marie Hare; "Banks of the Clyde" sung by Perley Hare; "Highland Mary" sung by George Fulton; A Gaelic Selection sung by Cathy Daigle; "Johnny was a shoe maker" sung by Raia Van Ingen; An English Folksong played on the violin by Clarence Lynch; "Gallent Brigantine" sung by Saraphine Martin; "Peter Emberly" & "Lovely Miramichi" sung by The Upper Miramichi Choral Society; "Duffy's Hotel" & "Sam Magee" & "Dungarvon Whopper" sung by Charles Slane; "Bold Princess Royal" sung by Capt. Glen Lealand; "Pat Murphy" sung by Robert McKay; "Mic Mac Song" sung by Anthony Ward; "There's a place I'd love to be" sung by Reg Lynch; "Banks of the Miramichi" sung by John McKay; "The Blue Bird" sung by Susan Butler; also includes other songs performed by Germaine Smith, Bill Leblanc, & Gary Silliker. Third Night songs include: "Walter Mullin" sung by Marie Hare; "Cruel Mother" sung by Allen Kelley; "Skunk" & "Lizzie's Canoe" sung by Perley Hare; "New Brunswick Lumberman" sung by Gary Silliker; "The Banks of the Miramichi" sung by George Fulton; "Smelt-Fish Blues" sung by Hubert Sweezey; "Maid of Tide Head" sung by Capt. Glen Lealand; "Fiddler's Green" sung by Alexander Baisley; "Pat Murphy" sung by Anthony Ward; "Magical Mystical Miramichi" sung by Susan Butler; "The Dark Island" sung by Reg Lynch; "The Door Made of Ivory" sung by Seraphine Martin; "Blue Bird" sung y Raia Van Ingen; A Scottish Folksong played by Clarence Lynch on the violin; "Old Bartibogue" sung by Cathy Daigle; "Roger the Miller" & "Peter Emberly" sung by Robert Mckay; also includes other songs performed by Bill Leblanc, Jean O'Donnell, Ivan & Vivian Hicks, Vera Walton, Archie MacDonald, Mike Bogel, Lynn Knowles, Germain.

NA1992 Miramichi Folksong Festival, recorded by David Taylor, summer 1975, New Castle, New Brunswick. Recording of the final night of the 18th (?) Miramichi Folksong Festival. Also includes letter from David Taylor to Edward D. “Sandy” Ives (in CF).

Text: 1 pp. cover sheet Recording: mfc_na1992_t1958_01-mfc_na1992_t1959_02 178 minutes

NA2571 James Reginald Wilson, 1958, New Brunswick. Recordings from the 1958 Miramichi Folksong Festival held in New Brunswick. Detailed log sheets for the twelve reels.

Text: 2 pp. log sheets Recording: mfc_na2571_cd0589_01 - mfc_na2571_cd0590_12 122 minutes

NA2584 John Holland, Perley Hare, Philip Walsh, Jerry Hebert, Mrs. Allan MacDonald, Edmund Robichaud, Albert Peters, James Brown, Sam Jagoe, Billy Price, Delton Brown, and others, donated/recorded by James Reginald Wilson and Paul Hansen, August 1962, Newcastle, New Brunswick. Recordings of the Miramichi Folk Song Festival recorded in August, 1962. Source of the recordings is unknown but may have been deposited by Wilson with other Miramichi Festival recordings from other years. One recording indicates it may have been recorded by Hansen. Accession envelope contains only rough tape contents lists photocopied from original tape boxes. Featured singers include Holland, Hare, Walsh, Hebert, MacDonald, Robichaud, Peters, Brown, Jagoe, Price, and Brown.

Text: 7 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2584_cd0405_01 - mfc_na2584_cd0583_06 273 minutes

Existence and Location of Originals

Located at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: AFC 2012/047

Related Materials

NAFOH collections MF032 Louise Manny/Lord Beaverbrook Collection; MF008 Norman Cazden Collection; and MF027 Edward D. Ives Collection.

Materials Specific Details

Audio files are the primary source material. Transcriptions are the transcriber's best effort to convert audio to text, but should be considered secondary to the audio.

Collection Note

MIRAMICHI FOLK SONG FESTIVAL: Listing of sources for Miramichi Festival recordings in NAFOH (compiled by Steve Green)

1958 James Wilson (NA0850): Creighton/National Museum of Canada

Ives (1.41-1.55) complete

1959 Ives (1.66-1.83) complete

1960 None (See NA0851 Billy Price recording by JR Wilson)

1961 Ives (61.1-61.5) complete

1962 Ives (62.4-62.6) complete

1963 James Wilson (NA0854) Collector: Creighton

Ives 63.1 selections

1964 Ives (64.7) selections

Ives (64.8) selections

1965 Ives (65.1) selections

1966 Cazden (NA1008) NO RECORDING

1970 Florence Ireland (NA0622)

1972 Lee Swearingen (NA1526)

1975 David Taylor (NA1992) final night only

1986 Marge Steiner (NA1989)

1987 Ives (NA1990)

Guide to the Miramichi Folksong Festival Collection
In Progress
Thomas Libby
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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