#01575
The Loss Of The Shamrock (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Shamrock (MacEdward Leach)
And also: Torbay Song (MacEdward Leach)

I'll go down unto James Murray's house
I'll have you to know,
For to learn his intention
and to know when he would go;
Now go hurry yourselves 'long,
me boys, and make no delay,
For you ought been here far long ago
and you're now going away.

His mother she advised him
with the tears in her eyes
That he stop until Monday,
"Dear James, my dear boy,
Oh, stop until Monday,
you'll have much better light,
For it looks wild and gloomy
for you to put out tonight."

No advice would he take
but on board went away,
They hoisted their main-sail
and their anchors did weigh,
On the eighteenth of September,
on Friday sailed away.

Oh, Saturday being the nineteenth
so I've heard people say,
When a boat of James Murray's
was seen in our bay;
With her sails double-reefed
and her main-sail all tore,
She was seen on that hour
and was never seen no more.

My name is James Farrell,
my age twenty-two,
Last winter, dear mother,
I spent home with you,
Last winter, dear mother,
I spent in content
Till I sailed in the Shamrock,
to the bottom she went.

There was a man in our bay,
Thomas Ridgeley by name,
He has done a bad action
though he's not to be blamed,
He has done a bad action
though it wasn't through pride,
Not to pick up those two poor boys
when they floated 'long side.

I owe him no malice
nor I owe him no spite,
Ye people who scorn him
'twould serve him just right;
For what would their poor mothers give,
for what would they crave,
'Twas the bodies of their children
to be buried in their grave.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

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.963-964, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Mr Decker said this native ballad was old when he learned it in his youth, over sixty years ago, [pre-1900] and so there is no danger of reviving unpleasant memories among the principals of the story. In any event, it would be difficult to get 'clearance' from surviving relatives to use the song because no place-names are mentioned.

A variant was collected by MacEdward Leach in 1951 from Michael (Mike) Molloy [b.1893] of St Shott's, NL, and published as Shamrock in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

MacEdward Leach also collected a variant in 1951 from Tom Ferrier of Trepassey, NL, and it was published as Torbay Song in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

According to the Northern Shipwrecks Database, the Shamrock was lost in a gale off Cape St Mary's on September 19, 1846.

See more songs about NFLD shipwrecks.


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