#00793
The Tidal Wave (Rosalee Peppard)
See also: 1929 Tidal Wave (F Herridge/M T Wall)
And also: Tidal Wave At Burin (MacEdward Leach)

Now, 'twas nineteen hundred and twenty-nine,
on the coast of Newfoundland,
A little girl from Point Aux Gaul,
she lived a tale so grand;
The sights and sounds and miracles,
and wonders that they gave,
And how her life forever changed
the day of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

She was playing on the hummock
that November afternoon,
The sky was clear, the air was cold,
awaiting the full moon;
She heard a moan come from the sea
like something from the grave,
When an earthquake shook her to her knees
the day of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

The land was moving like the waves
that roll upon the sea,
But she was only six years old,
with curiosity;
The adults gathered on the green
to speculate and rave,
But no one knew what to expect
the day of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

Then Uncle Joe the Madaleau
he crouched down to the ground,
His ear was on a small drain pipe,
and no one made a sound;
They waited, watched, and listened closely
to that worldly knave,
Till at last he rose and there proclaimed,
"We'll be having a tidal wave!"

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

But no one knew what that might be,
though they were sure he'd know,
For he had travelled on the sea,
a schooner's Madeleau;
And though she heard and saw and felt
the worldly speech he gave,
Maisie wondered what he really meant,
"We'll be having a tidal wave!"

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

With supper done the evening followed family rosary,
When Maisie's high strung sister cried,
"I hears the moan of the sea!"
So, Grandpa said, "Don't worry me chil',
be still now and behave."
But the kitchen carried water
on the night of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

Outside she saw the picket fence
lift up and wash away,
The wave had gone but three would come
before the light of day;
And Maisie saw the sea withdraw
a mile out like a cave,
Till it all came roaring in again,
the second tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

She saw friends and houses wash away,
never to come ashore,
They ran and looked for loved ones,
searching frantically for more;
And Maisie's brother Terry
even searched the sea-bed grave,
Just in time for him to run
from the final tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

Well, Point Aux Gaul was purged that night
of eight poor village souls,
Yet underneath a fallen roof
were apples in a bowl;
And everybody stopped and stared
at that which had been saved,
And Maisie laughed in wonder
on the night of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

It was nineteen hundred and twenty-nine
on the coast of Newfoundland,
A little girl from Point Aux Gaul
she lived a tale so grand;
The sights and sounds and miracles
and wonders that they gave,
And how her life forever changed
the day of the tidal wave.

The day of the tidal wave, me b'ys,
The day of the tidal wave.

####.... Rosalee Peppard, 2002 & 2004 Dr. Helen Creighton Folklore Research Award recipient ....####
Recorded by Rosalee Peppard of Nova Scotia and Toronto, Ontario (No Place Like Home, trk#7, 2001 CD, Mayflower Music, Toronto, Ontario.)

Notes from Earthquake Canada: On November 18, 1929, at 5:02 pm Newfoundland time, a major earthquake occurred approximately 250 kilometres south of Newfoundland along the southern edge of the Grand Banks. This magnitude 7.2 tremor was felt as far away as New York and Montreal. On land, damage due to earthquake vibrations was limited to Cape Breton Island where chimneys were overthrown or cracked and where some highways were blocked by minor landslides. A few aftershocks were felt in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland but caused no damage.

The earthquake triggered a large submarine slump (an estimated volume of 200 cubic kilometres of material was moved on the Laurentian slope) which ruptured 12 transatlantic cables in multiple places. The tsunami was recorded along the eastern seaboard as far south as South Carolina and across the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal.

Approximately 2 1/2 hours after the earthquake the tsunami struck the southern end of the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland as three main pulses, causing local sea levels to rise between 2 and 7 metres. At the heads of several of the long narrow bays on the Burin Peninsula the momentum of the tsunami carried water as high as 27 metres. This giant sea wave claimed a total of 28 lives - 27 drowned on the Burin peninsula and a young girl never recovered from her injuries and died in 1933. More than 40 local villages in southern Newfoundland were affected, where numerous homes, ships, businesses, livestock and fishing gear were destroyed. Also lost were more than 280,000 pounds of salt cod. Total property losses were estimated at more than $1 million 1929 dollars (estimated as nearly $20 million 2004 dollars). This represents Canada's largest documented loss of life directly related to an earthquake (although oral traditions of First Nations people record that an entire coastal village was completely destroyed by the tsunami generated by the year 1700 magnitude 9 Cascadia earthquake off the coast of British Columbia).



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