“Oh, No, Not I”


A "Newfoundland sailor" and a noble lady meet. He asks her to marry; she say, "Oh, no, not I"; his birth is too low. When she bears a child nine months later, she writes to ask him to come back; he tells her, "Oh, no, not I," and bids her go begging


Recorded by Margaret Christl and Ian Robb, who in turn inspired Stan Rogers to record it (nearly the only traditional song he ever recorded). Kenneth Peacock found it in Newfoundland, and other versions are few (by my standards; Roud has many in his list, but many appear to be different songs with common lyrics). Fowke calls it a "neat localizing of a popular British ballad that appeared on many nineteenth-century broadsides as 'O No, My Love, Not I.'" - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(1375), "No, My Love, Not I," J. Evans (London), 1780-1812; also Firth c.18(293), Firth b.34(208), Firth b.34(97), Harding B 11(2715), Harding B 17(220b), "No, My Love, Not I"; Firth c.13(169), Harding B 25(1340), "The Newfoundland Sailor"; Firth c.18(292), Harding B 25(1422), 2806 c.18(223), Harding B 20(119), Harding B 11(1635), "O No My Love, Not I"


  1. Fowke-Lumbering #56, "No, My Boy, Not I" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Peacock, pp. 304-305, "Oh No, Not I" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Leach-Labrador 112, "Hello, My Boy, Not I" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #1403
  6. BI, DTmarryn


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1813 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1375))
Found in: Canada(Newf,Que)