The Government Game (Pat Byrne) MIDI, video
See also: The Blow Below The Belt (Anthony Ward)
And also: Out From St Leonards (Gary O'Driscoll)
#2101: YouTube video by codo27
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

Come all you young fellows and list' while I tell,
Of the terrible misfortune that upon me befell;
Centralization they say was the name,
But me, I just calls it the government game.

My name it don't matter, I'm not young anymore,
But in all of my days I'd never been poor;
I'd lived the right good life and not felt no shame,
Till they made me take part in the government game.

My home was St Kyran's, a heavenly place,
It thrived on the fishin' of a good hearty race;
But now it will never again be the same,
Since they made it a pawn in the government game.

So, the government paid us for movin' away,
And leaving our birthplace for a better day's pay;
They said that our poor lives would ne'er be the same,
Once we took part in the government game.

It's not many years now since they all moved away,
To places more prosperous way down in the bay;
There's not one soul left now, not one who remains,
They've all become part of the government game.

Now St Kyran's lies there all empty as hell,
Except for the graveyard where our dead parents dwell;
The lives of their children are buried in shame,
They lost out while playing the government game.

To a place called Placentia, well, some of them went,
And in finding a new home their allowances spent;
So for jobs they went lookin' but they looked all in vain,
For the roof had caved in on the government game.

It's surely a sad sight, their movin' around,
A-wishin' they still lived by the cod-fishin' ground;
But there's no goin' back now, there's nothing to gain,
Now that they've played in the government game.

They tell me our young ones the benefits will see,
But I don't believe it - oh, how can it be?
They'll never know nothing but sorrow and shame,
For their fathers were part of the government game.

And when my soul leaves me for the heavens above,
Take me back to St Kyran's, the place that I love;
And there on my gravestone right next to my name,
Just say I died playing the government game.

####.... Written by Al Pittman to the melody of "The Patriot Game" with a few variations ....####
This variant collected from the singing of Pat Byrne in 1978 by Mary McCarthy in St John's and archived in MUNFLA ms.83-65,41. A variant was also published on-line in Folk Music Of South East Bight, NL, and the Archives Page of St Catherine's Academy, Canadian Literature 2204 Class (2001-2002), St Mary's Bay, NL.

For a better understanding of the government's forced centralization program, see Genevieve Lehr's footnotes to a song written by Anthony Ward [1927-1999] of South East Bight and St John's, NL, The Blow Below The Belt.


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