#01045
Goodbye To St Lawrence (Sam Richards)
See also: Little Darling (Hughie Clark)

Goodbye to St Lawrence, farewell, Newf'n'land,
I'm bound for the mainland tomorrow;
There's nothing for me in the place I was born,
Nothing but hardship and sorrow.
Nothing but hardship and sorrow.

My old man was strong, he was like a bulldog,
Was raised up as tough as old leather;
From the day he could walk he'd be out every day,
Fishing in all kinds of weather.
Fishing in all kinds of weather.

Winter and summer in the boats he'd be gone,
Working hard, scraping a living;
Somehow found time to marry my mother,
And settled down, tried to start saving.
And settled down, tried to start saving.

I've heard old folk tell of the year '29,
When the tidal waves set the place reeling;
Stirred up the breeding grounds, scattered the fish,
Leaving our people half starving.
Leaving our people half starving.

They lived on relief for three years and more,
Trying to keep themselves living;
Till the company came with their drills and their gear,
Said there was money in mining.
Said there was money in mining.

The people 'round this place, they dug those damn mines,
With hearts and with hands that were willing;
Then ten hours a day they would sweat in that hole,
Mucking and tramming and drilling.
Mucking and tramming and drilling.

My old man went down with his picks like the rest,
Down in the dust and the danger;
Drilling and blasting, he choked in the smoke,
Down in that lousy gas chamber.
Down in that lousy gas chamber.

I've watched them go, seen them die of the dust,
Every miner 'round here, his lungs failed him;
Only one feller died harder than that,
And high on a hillside they nailed him.
And high on a hillside they nailed him.

When my old feller had breathed his last breath,
Like the others who suffered 'longside him;
The company flooded the mines and pulled out,
Too few dollars in St Lawrence mining.
Too few dollars in St Lawrence mining.

For forty-five years a fortune was made,
From a hellhole so murky and dusty;
But what's left behind,
now they've closed the mines down,
A company town with no company.
A company town with no company.

So goodbye, St Lawrence, farewell, Newf'n'land,
I'm bound for the mainland tomorrow;
There's nothing for me in the place I was born,
Nothing but hardship and sorrow.
Nothing but hardship and sorrow.

####.... Sam Richards. From the New City Songster, Nov 1982 ....####
Note: "The suspension of mining by the St Lawrence [Fluorspar] Corporation in 1957 traumatized St Lawrence, not only because of the lost jobs involved, but also because the company had become a constant in the area. Seven years later the Corporation sold all its assets and left Newfoundland."
~ Wendy Martin, Once Upon A Mine, ch.6, pg 4.


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