“The History of Prince Edward Island”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1950 (Ives-DullCare)
Keywords: Canada lament exile political patriotic
Found in: Canada(Mar)


The singer tells of the "dismal fate" of the Island. He complains that the rich folk of Canada have "made us slaves and sold Prince Edward Isle." He tells of a time of troubles and of many leaving their homes. At last he too must depart


According to Doerflinger, Prince Edward Island has a long history of trouble with government. The original settlement left the island owned primarily by a handful of absentee landlords who had little sympathy for the common people. When the Canadian Confederation was formed, PEI at first opted out. When Confederation was at last passed, a number of Islanders fled to New England.

Despite their fears, Confederation was probably good for PEI. The Canadian government bought out the absentee landholders, allowing the local residents the chance to own the land.

Various poets have been suggested as the author of the verses. Larry Gorman, naturally, has been mentioned -- but it hardly sounds like his work. Other candidates include Larry Doyle and "a schoolteacher named Fitzgerald." - RBW

Ives-DullCare: "Briefly ... it is a ... view of the political situation around 1880.... The song has been a significant presence in Island folklore for over a century." - BS

Historical references


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 256-257, "The History of Prince Edward Island" (1 text)
  2. Dibblee/Dibblee, pp. 120-121, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 108-110, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Ives-DullCare, pp. 230-233,253, "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #4517
  6. BI, Doe256