#01242
I Will Bring You Home (Marion Parsons) video
See also: The Newfoundland Sealing Disaster (Parsons)
And also: Newfoundland Sealers (Bill Gallaher)
And also: The Newfoundland Disaster (Peacock)
And also: The Newfoundland Disaster (G Humbey)
And also: Death On The Ice - The Story (E Adams)
And also: Death On The Ice (Margo St John)
#2204 YouTube video by Marion Parsons ©2015
~ Use with permission ~

I've had enough of swiling ships,
the squalor and the gore,
The Harlaw sank beneath me,
and I said I'd hunt no more;
But Albert John was just sixteen
and bound to try his hand,
Along I went for one more run
aboard the Newfoundland.

"Stay right by me, follow to my lead,
They'll work you twice what you can take,
and pay you half your need;
Your ma and me, we couldn't see
to send you out alone,
I brought you to this frozen waste,
and I will bring you home."

The ship was jinked right from the pier,
our dreams were dark and strange,
The shifting floes they jammed her in,
the whitecoats out of range;
The glass showed dirty weather
on a dawn as red as fire,
For half the day we crossed on foot
in search of Kean's desire.

"Stay right by me, follow to my lead,
They'll work you twice what you can take,
and pay you half your need;
Your ma and me, we couldn't see
to send you out alone,
I brought you to this frozen waste,
and I will bring you home."

A chilling wind caught up the snow
to drift and hide the trail,
A whisper rose, "There'll be no man alive
to tell the tale."
With songs and thoughts of home
we faced a night out in the cold,
But of that long night's miseries,
the half cannot be told.

"Stay right by me, follow to my lead,
They'll work you twice what you can take,
and pay you half your need;
Your ma and me, we couldn't see
to send you out alone,
I brought you to this frozen waste,
and I will bring you home."

The daylight rose and crossed the sky,
again was falling low,
We reached the end of faith and strength,
and sank into the snow;
How little can a poor man do
to keep a son from harm?
I wrapped him in my guernsey
and I locked him in my arms.

"Stay right by me, follow to my lead,
They'll work you twice what you can take,
and pay you half your need;
Your ma and me, we couldn't see
to send you out alone,
I brought you to this frozen waste,
and I will bring you home."

####.... Marion Parsons © 2004 ....####

Notes:

¹ This is Marion Parson's follow-up song to her earlier The Newfoundland Sealing Disaster, and tells the same story from a narrower perspective. It is based on the true story of Reuben Crewe and his son, Albert John, who were found frozen on the ice. Their bodies were returned to port the way they were found, with Albert wrapped in Reuben's sweater and locked in his father's arms. Indeed, Reuben had been true to his word and had brought his son home.

² Westbury (Wes) Kean [1855-1945] of St John's, NL, was the captain of the Newfoundland.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Guernsey - also gansey or garnsey; heavy, closely-knit pull-over sweater worn by fishermen and sealers.


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