“The Messenger Song”


The horse, a descendent of Messenger, reports on its frisky behavior with its handlers. They respond by beating the animal. It breaks down the door and flees; it boasts of its new freedom and its abilities

Supplemental text

Messenger Song, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

The Messenger Song (John Calhoun's Colt)

From Louise Manny and James Reginald Wilson, Songs of Miramichi,
#22, pp. 140-144. From the singing of Billy Price, Priceville, in

Come all you lively horses,
  And listen unto me,
I'll tell you of my noble stock,
  My life and destiny.
I was reared on the Guimmick,
  And by a farmer, too,
The farmer's name was Robert Kent,
  The truth I'll tell to you.

My mother was a French mare,
  And from a foreign shore,
My father was a Messenger,
  From Scotland he sailed o'er.
She was both neat and handsome,
  Her equals they were rare,
When I was young they used to say:
  "He looks just like the mare."

(19 additional stanzas)


Messenger was a famous horse of the nineteenth century; Manny and Wilson note that he "was foaled in 1780, imported to the United States in 1788, and died in 1808, leaving a large progeny."

This song is item dH49 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW


  1. Doerflinger, p. 266, "The Messenger Song" (1 text)
  2. Manny/Wilson 33, "The Messenger Song (John Calhoun's Colt)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST Doe266a (Partial)
  4. Roud #4166
  5. BI, Doe266a


Author: John Calhoun?
Earliest date: 1960 (Manny/Wilson)
Found in: Canada(Mar)