#01071
The Last Days Of Okak (A Frank Willis)

In 1918, at dawn's early light,
The Harmony sat anchored in the bay;
The town they could not know while they slept that night,
Death would come ashore the next day.

The Spanish flu was like a gift straight from hell;
And loved ones slipped away one by one;
That ship came once a year with cargo to sell;
But this time she was as fatal as a gun.

There was no one left to care for an eight-year-old girl,
And a younger brother that she fought to save;
The terror that came from the other side of the world,
Hadn't counted on a little one so brave.

She kept her spirits high and the little boy alive,
Then one night outside she heard a sound;
They thought she was a ghost, saying no one could survive,
It was then the boy needed to be found.

Another week went by, she was all alone,
She ate berries and whatever she could find;
The water turned to ice, she was chilled to the bone,
Finally she was rescued just in time.

They buried all the dead and burned the houses down,
They silenced the town forever more;
Today there is no trace, Mother Nature claimed the ground,
Somewhere in Northern Labrador.

In 1918, at dawn's early light,
The Harmony sat anchored in the bay.

####.... A Frank Willis and Fred Petersen. Performance rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####
Recorded by A Frank Willis (Life Goes On ©1997.)

See more songs by A Frank Willis.

From Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site:
1918 Spanish Flu - the Moravian supply ship Harmony arrived in Okak, Labrador, on November 4, 1918. Within hours of the ship's departure on November 8, many people in the village began showing signs of illness. Two weeks later, 70 Okak residents were dead and the disease had spread to nearby hunting camps. Seven-year-old Martha Joshua survived alone for five weeks in nearby Uivaq before a search party from Okak found her in early January. After the influenza killed her entire family, Joshua survived alone by eating hard bread and melting snow for drinking water. By the end of December, the virus had decimated Okak, killing 204 of its 263 residents. ~ Jenny Higgins ©2007.



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