#00641
Ghosts Of Gull Island (Final Approach)

Eighteen sixty-seven, just out of St John's,
Fifth of December, a gale coming on;
We were blown out before it, away from the shore,
We all feared for our lives that we'd see land no more.

My name's Felix Dowsley, St John's born and bred,
Bound out for Tilt Cove to practice my trade;
But for Skipper John Owen we all would be drowned,
But perhaps would be better if the Queen had gone down.

December eleven, the Queen raised the land,
Gull Island before us, salvation at hand;
But an hour's hesitation with night coming on,
Saw the Queen on the rocks in the dim light of dawn.

But a line was secured as we made to firm ground,
Except for Pat Duggan, he and three more were drowned;
They'd returned to the Queen for provisions and stores,
And along with the Queen never seen any more.

Smoke there was rising not six miles away,
Sure they'll save us and see us on this very day;
But early the morning, December thirteen,
Come the snows from Nor'eastern, the worst we had seen.

My dear darling Margaret, I'll not last too long,
And besides, I hear words that are ever so wrong;
I fear you won't see me in one piece again,
I regret you this anger, this sorrow, this pain.

It's thought that the first may have died Christmas Day,
That none lived to see the old year pass away;
For four months their bodies through snow and through hail,
Lay under a piece of the Queen's tattered sail.

The truth was discovered one clear April day,
What fate had befallen each castaway;
Two half-eaten skeletons lay to the west,
While notes 'neath the canvas told the tale for the rest.

My dear darling Margaret, I'm near mad with thirst,
My clothes wet and frozen don't know what is worse;
I'm going under the canvas to lay down and die,
May God pity me and my soul lift on high.

Yes, the barque, Queen of Swansea, will tell no more tales,
As she lies off Gull Island immune to the gales;
But the souls that went with her are better by far,
And some things are better just left where they are.

My dear darling Margaret, I'm near mad with thirst,
My clothes wet and frozen don't know what is worse;
I'm going under the canvas to lay down and die,
May God pity me and my soul lift on high.

####.... Sheldon McBreairty of Final Approach. Performance rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####
Recorded by Final Approach (Memories Remain, 2001, Third Wave Studio, Gander, NL).

See more songs by Final Approach.

Notes: The Queen of Swansea, a 360 ton ship from Swansea, Wales, carried passengers and cargo. On December 6, 1867, she left St John's to go to Tilt Cove, a copper mining town. She had 15 people aboard, including a druggist and two children. After the Queen left St John's Harbour, she was never heard from again.

See more songs about NFLD shipwrecks.


line

Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador



line

~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here