#01520
Downey's Our Member (Kenneth Peacock)

For now we have no government at all,
'Twas Reid and his lawyer condemned last fall,
The duty's gone up and likewise the freight,
Our country today's in an awful state.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

For one month last winter we got no mail,
The news was reported: 'A very bad rail.'
But Reid showed the truth, just what he intend,
Was to starve the west coast, every darn one of them.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

'Twas the middle of March when the rotary came through,
There were men from every section to make up her crew,
But when she got to Bankhead as I understand
She was fired off the track by the powers of Jim Hann.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

Now it's into the fall, take your ax on your back,
Cut ties all the winter and lug to the track,
And then in the spring, oh what a darn sin,
When they'll cull out those ties
and they'll steal them again.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

The next thing we heard of out here on the coast
Some kind of a bull with a ring through its nose,
And then a boar pig and a certified ram,
And a spring fitted harrow to tear up your land.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

Now they held a meeting in Jeffrey's down there,
To dispose of the bull that had landed that year,
Now the lot fell to Philip Hulan you know,
And he took this bull and he fed it on snow.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

All winter he tended the bull with great care,
Led it out to the pasture when the weather was fair,
And then in the spring the bull he got sick,
So they lugged him to the station lashed onto a stick.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

Now as to these chairmen, they're no good at all
When they don't get a cent from the spring to the fall,
So what are they for or why are they there?
This is one of the things that we find so queer.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

Now Thomas is chairman at Robinson's you know,
Dick Legge is at Cartyville, it's all for a show,
Jimmy Pike at Maidstone, he's somewheres the best,
He got a few cents more than the rest.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

A half gallon of potatoes, every man for his share,
And the time to go get them is the spring of the year,
For some gets an ounce and more they gets none,
Travel back on a cow path to find your way home.
Now Downey's our member you all understand,
So beware of the boar, the bull, and the ram.

####.... Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from the composer, Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.779-780, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that composers like Leonard Hulan and Chris Cobb are often motivated by the social injustices around them. However, the events described in this political ballad have long since ceased to be controversial, though students of Newfoundland's political history may find a few choice items not in the books. The value of these informal documents composed by outport Newfoundlanders is only now being realized.

Responsible government in Newfoundland ended in 1934 with the swearing in of the British-appointed Commission of Government. For the next fifteen years, no elections took place and no legislature was convened.

From The Odyssey Of Homer translated by Alexander Pope, Volume The Third, Book XI, p.92:
"To calm the God that holds the wat'ry reign; a threefold off'ring to his altar bring, a bull, a ram, a boar; and hail the Ocean King."
Pope explained on p.93: "the Bull represents the roaring of the sea in storms; the ram the milder appearance of it when in tranquility; the Boar was used by the ancients as an emblem of fecundity, to represent the fruitfulness of the Ocean"


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