#01572
The Sally's Cove Tragedy (Kenneth Peacock)

We leaved our homes on Tuesday,
the day was bright and clear,
And for to get a turn of bait
away all hands did steer;
Our hearts being young as the day passed on
and everything went right,
Till we camped upon the mountains
all on that fatal night.

'Twas early the next morning
the weather it grew clear,
We then rolled up our luggage
and our journey we did steer;
Everything went right all that long day
as you may understand,
We were nearly chilled from wind and rain
but never lost a man.

'Twas early the next morning
our foreman he did say:
"Come bundle up your luggage, boys,
we must retreat our way."
The rain and fog lay thick all 'round,
the winds did howl and mourn,
Two of those boys that leaved their homes
they'll nevermore return.

The first one died, it was young Russ,
and he was twelve years old,
The other was young Dennis
most dreadful to behold;
His age it was about sixteen
as you may understand,
He was his father's only son,
a promising young man.

What those poor boys did suffer
no one will ever behold,
Without fire, food, or water
in that bitter piercing cold,
Their limbs no more did strength contain,
and too weak for to cry,
Their lives departed from them
and they lay down to die.

A gallant man had raised these boys
to you I will make clear,
His name was Eli Roberts,
he was our comrade dear;
He was a man both kind in heart
and tender in love,
He is an honest fisherman
that lives in Sally's Cove.

####.... George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.971-972, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

George Decker told Kenneth Peacock that he composed this ballad forty or fifty years ago [ca.1919-1909]. Today Sally's Cove is a park enclave community in the north end of Gros Morne National Park, about fifteen minutes north by car from Rocky Harbour, NL.


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