“George Alfred Beckett”


Beckett leaves Perlican for the coal fields of Cape Breton. At Glace Bay, he beats a taximan to death with an iron bar, intending to rob him. He escapes back to Newfoundland but is caught and returned to stand trial in Cape Breton


[Lehr/Best's] version starts with the usual references to honest parents who raised him tenderly. Lehr/Best discusses a version collected in Nova Scotia that adds the features expected at the end: don't do what I have done or you'll end on the gallows and, for my part, "may the Lord have mercy on my soul." Cape Breton, Sydney, and Glace Bay are eastern Nova Scotia. Perlican is on the Avalon Peninsula, not far from St John's. - BS

Historical references

  • Apr 20, 1931 - George Alfred Beckett, convicted of murdering Nicolas Marthos, hanged in Sydney, Nova Scotia. (Lehr/Best)


  1. Lehr/Best 41, "George Alfred Beckett" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, LeBe041


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1976 (Lehr/Best)
Found in: Canada(Newf)