#00841
Come All Ye Jolly Ice-Hunters (Collected by Doyle)

Come all ye jolly ice-hunters
and listen to my song,
I hope I won't offend you,
I don't mean to keep you long;
'Tis concerning an ice-hunter,
from Tilton Harbour sailed away,
On the fourteenth day of March,
eighteen hundred and thirty-three.

William Burke was our commander,
The Daniel O'Connell
was our good ship's name,
We had twenty-eight as smart a lads
as ever crossed the main;
As off with flying colors
to the northward we did steer,
So mark what followed after,
to you I will declare.

'Twas on the fourth of April,
right well I mind the day,
About four o'clock in the evening
our towline gave away;
The wind came from the northwest
and bitterly did blow,
Our captain cries, "Stand by, me b'ys,
out of the ice we'll have to go!

"Stand by your topsail halliards,
stand by to let them go,
Be quick, I say, make no delay,
your topsail clear away!"
He watched his opportunity
and soon he had her free, saying,
"God bless the brave O'Connell,
See how she stems the sea!"

At six o'clock next morning
we were a dreadful wreck,
Our topmast went overboard|
for two long days we lay,
So we left her to God's mercy
and to the raging sea.

We could not keep a light below,
the seas ran mountains high,
And expecting every minute
that we were doomed to die;
At eight o'clock next morning
all hands were called on deck,
Some to rig up jury masts,
and more to clear the wreck.

Now a few days after,
assistance was at hand,
As six o'clock in the morning,
the watch espied the land;
So now, thanks unto Providence,
we're safe on shore at last,
We'll drink to one another
and drown sorrow in the glass.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####
Published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (First edition, p.15, 1927).

Gerald Doyle noted that "This song was written in 1833. It is about the oldest song of a sealing nature now in existence, and has 'brought down the house' in the for'castle of many a sealer in the days of the square riggers."

A variant was also published by permission of Gerald S Doyle of St John's as #121 on pp.244-245 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968.)



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