#00865
Boats Of Peter's River (Mary Garvey)

Not a boat in Peter's River
or in all St Mary's Bay,
The fishermen in rubber boots
are staying home today;
Hanging up the laundry,
hang out at the store,
The little boats of Newfoundland
are idle on the shore.

Refrain: The men of Peter's River
are just barely getting by,
And the boats of Peter's River
have their bottoms to the sky.

The wives of Peter's River
are taking up the slack,
The fisheries has ended
and it's never coming back;
Sell a little knitting,
set some broody hens,
No sooner does a long day end
another one begins.

Refrain: The men of Peter's River
are just barely getting by,
And the boats of Peter's River
have their bottoms to the sky.

The boys of Peter's River
are as bright as boys can be,
Their eyes are on the highway
instead of on the sea;
Where their fathers went before them
is not where they must go,
And the fate of Peter's River
is not for us to know.

Refrain: The men of Peter's River
are just barely getting by,
And the boats of Peter's River
have their bottoms to the sky.

The storms of Peter's River
have pounded us for years,
Crashing in the harbour
and smashing up the piers;
We've ridden out these storms before
by shooting at our boats,
But we know this storm is different
and we cannot stay afloat.

Refrain: The men of Peter's River
are just barely getting by,
And the boats of Peter's River
have their bottoms to the sky.

####.... Mary Garvey ©1995 ....####
Excerpts from the music pages of the Portland Folklore Society Vol.27, No.6, Nov-Dec, 2003:

Mary Garvey is a Pacific Northwest songwriter who currently resides in Long Beach, Washington, and has more than 50 songs to her credit. She was working on her graduate degree in Newfoundland in 1975 through 1978, and then returned there in 1995.

Mary Garvey wrote: "I wrote [this song] when I went back to Peter's River a few years ago. I had worked on a whale research study in Peter's River some years ago through the University of Newfoundland, and wanted to see it again. This was after the collapse of the cod fishery in Newfoundland, and fishermen couldn't even go out and catch a few fish for their families. The men were hanging out in the stores in what was probably a state of shock. All the boats were upside down up and down the bay. It is a very beautiful and historic place, and it is just tragic what happened with the loss of the fisheries. The bit about shooting their boats is true. A really bad storm came up when I was there and the men did go and shoot their boats to sink them so they would survive the storm."

Peter's River is located on the Avalon Peninsula on the east side of St Mary's Bay in southeastern Newfoundland.



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