“John Ladner”


John Ladner leaves PEI to find work in Saint John. Failing that, he goes to Maine and works six years in Madison. Thanksgiving morning he is crushed by logs he is rolling to a stream to be floated to the mill. Doctors cannot save him. He dies at 23.

Supplemental text

John Ladner
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Louise Manny and James Reginald Wilson, Songs of Miramichi,
#26, pp. 122-123. From the singing of Stanley MacDonald, Black
River Bridge, 1947 and 1948.

A sint for beer, a friend draw near,*
  Come listen to my song.
This cruel fate I will relate,
  This young man dead and gone,
Who now lies silent in his grave
  Without any care nor pain.
Prince Edward's Isle his native isle,
  John Lad-en-er by name.

* This text is what the informant insisted upon. Manny and Wilson
suggested "A sympathetic ear" for "A sint for beer"; I had thought
of "A cent for beer." But it appears the original was something
like "You sympathetic friends draw near."

(6 additional stanzas)


This song is item dC40 in Laws's Appendix II.

Dibblee/Dibblee have a report that the grave "is in the Victoria West, P.E.I. Cemetery and it was dated circa 1895."

Ives-DullCare: "John Ladner, 33, of Victoria West was killed in a logging accident in Madison, Maine, on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1900." - BS

Manny and Wilson note a version which dates the accident to 1884. One must suspect confusion with something else - RBW

Historical references

  • Nov 29, 1900 - probable date of the death of John Ladner (see NOTE)

Cross references

  • cf. "Peter Amberley [Laws C27]" (plot)


  1. Dibblee/Dibblee, pp. 40-41, "John Ladner" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Ives-DullCare, pp. 60-61,248, "John Ladner" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Manny/Wilson 26, "John Ladner" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. ST Din040 (Partial)
  5. Roud #4061
  6. BI, Din040


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1947 (Manny/Wilson)
Found in: Canada(Mar)