The Banks of Newfoundland

04:46
Fred Gosbee/Castlebay
06/08/2015
Traditional

Story

This is an amalgamation of three different versions. There are some themes common to all the versions. The ship is built from unseasoned wood, causing it to fail in the tempest. The captain freezes his feet.

Lyrics

You may all bless your happy lot that safely dwell on shore
You do not know what howling winds around poor seamen roar
You do not know what hardships great that we were forced to stand
For fourteen days and fourteen nights on the banks of Newfoundland

Our captain, mate and sailors ten made up our good ship's crew
Ten passengers we had on board made up to twenty-two
Some had wives and families on their dear native strand
Hoping soon to come across by the banks of Newfoundland

We sailed away through frost and snow from the day we left Quebec
And if we had not walked about we'l have frozen to the deck
But being a true-born sailor man as ever took command
Our captain doubled our grog each day on the banks of Newfoundland

Our vessel never sailed before the stormy western sea
She was well rigged and fitted out before she sailed away
But made of green unseasoned wood, she little could withstand
The hurricane that struck us on the banks of Newfoundland.

The tempest blew from sunset to the cold wintry dawn
When she fell on to leeward, two of her masts were gone
Our captain says: 'My brave boys, we must inventions plan
For to hoist a signal of distress on the Banks of Newfoundland'

If you had seen our doleful state your heart would be oppressed
It blew a most tremendous gale with the wind from the southwest
Some of our men jumped overboard thinking they would swim to land
But alas, it was five hundred miles from the banks of Newfoundland

By the morning of the twelfth day our provisions had run out
On the morning of the thirteenth day the lots were cast about
The lot fell to the captain¹s son, but hoping relief at hand,
We spared him another day on the banks of Newfounfland

On the morning of the fourteenth day we told him to prepare
We gave to him another hour for to offer up a prayer
But Providence proved kind to us, kept blood from every hand
For an English vessel hove in sight on the banks of Newfoundland.

Oh when we were taken off the wreck we were more like ghosts than men
They clothed us and they fed and then brought us home again
But five of our brave sailor men ne'er saw their native land
And our captain lost both feet by frost on the Banks of Newfoundland

Of all the gallant company that were our brave ship's crew
There live but five to tell the tale, and passengers but two
For the rest, their friends may shed salt tears on their native strand
But the mountain waves roll o'er their graves on the Banks of Newfoundland

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Concerts in Brief

  • Oct 27
    Downstairs at the Sunapee Methodist Church,  Sunapee