#00815
The Landfall Of Cabot (Johnny Burke)
See also: The Landfall Of Cabot Parody (Doyle)

Dar's an arguie yet unfinished
'twixt his Lordship and the Judge,
And the Doctor takes a hand in
for to settle an old grudge;
It's about this Cabot Landfall
that each night we have to stand,
For the Doctor says Cape Breton,
while the Judge says Newfoundland.

Mrs Kean, oh, Mrs Kean,
oh, what have you got to say,
And war did 'em drop his gig lamps,
was 'em Bonavista Bay?
And said she, I'll soon translate en,
when she gave a wink at me,
Primum. Primum, terri primum, la Cabato, repères.

I dropped in a house last evening,
just to mingle with the boys,
When the landfall of Jack Cabot
very soon it did arise;
And the Vantails war a-pelted
as the arguie it waxed warmer,
Now says I, I'll say a-nuffin,
but jus' listen in the corner.

Mrs Kean, oh, Mrs Kean,
oh, what have you got to say,
And war did 'em drop his gig lamps,
was 'em Bonavista Bay?
And said she, I'll soon translate en,
when she gave a wink at me,
Primum. Primum, terri primum, la Cabato, repères.

"Oh, I turned a coat for Cabot,"
says a woman on the settle,
By the same he drank that evening
what cold tea was in the kettle;
And he said afore a leavin',
if they argue on my landfall,
Tell 'em Pork Pond down by Peter's,
dat's a stunner for 'em all.

I'm an old beau of John Cabot,
said Min Martin, beg your parding,
And 'em wore a full chin whisker
all the world like Mr Harding;
And may peace be to his ashes,
may his figure grow no lesser,
Him's the first invented Chiny dogs
to ornament a dresser.

Then up spoke old Bill Furlong,
saying this thing it is a joke,
While a-scramin' of his pocket
for to try and get a smoke;
Some men say 'twas Tommy Hurley,
others say 'twas Tickle Bill,
But we know 'twas Tommy Little John
discovered Nagle's Hill.

Then up spoke Tommy Little John,
saying I sailed with him twice,
In the Isabella Ridley we were
bunk mates at the ice;
And many a cold and frosty day
we travelled miles and miles,
And the puttiest man was in her
for to haul a tow of soils.

Oh, I went to school with Cabot,
says a booby called Bill Noel,
And he wore his hair that even,
like you cut it 'round a bowl;
He would fairly eat tobacco,
such an awful boy to chaw,
Let him out for firing marbles,
he could belt them out from taw.

He stayed here all the spring and fall,
searching for new places,
And I'm told he had that summer
a fine tent at the races;
And they say 'twas something scan'lous
the way he used to sneak,
With his bucket to the river
for to make the whiskey weak.

Mrs Kean, oh, Mrs Kean,
oh, what have you got to say,
And war did 'em drop his gig lamps,
was 'em Bonavista Bay?
And said she, I'll soon translate en,
when she gave a wink at me,
Primum. Primum, terri primum, la Cabato, repères.

You may talk about John Cabot,
you may speak in language grand,
And assert it through the papers
he discovered Newfoundland;
But I'm here to say it boldly,
neither Cabot or his crew....
'Twas a man named Jimmy Murphy
who was called the Foggy Dew.

####.... Johnny Burke of St John's, NL [1851-1930], 1897 ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, pp.32-33, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

Note: John Cabot discovered Newfoundland in 1497.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
En - him in Newfie dialect.
Manus - any sealer who, by refusing to work, shall wilfully compel any master of a sealing vessel to give up the voyage; of one or more sealers, to refuse to work in order to force the captain to return to port; mutinize.
Scramin - scrawm, snatch, snap, grab. To reach (for something); to grope.
Settle - long, home-made wooden bench with arms and high back; an unupholstered couch; stretcher.
Soils - seals; also siles, swales, swiles, swoils.
Tow - number of sealskins with blubber attached, laced together and hauled over the ice by a rope.

From Wikipedia:
Gig-Lamps - when travelling at night a light, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage cart, or gig, would normally carry two oil lamps with thick glass, known as gig-lamps.

Primum. Primum, terri primum, la Cabato, repères - Loose translation by GEST - First. First, the land first, Cabot, landmarks.



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