“The History of Prince Edward Island”


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Historical references

  • 1867 - Prince Edward Island declines to join the newly-formed Canadian Confederation
  • 1873 - Prince Edward Island joins Canada


  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


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1950 (Ives-DullCare)
Found in: Canada(Mar)