#01884
Island Spirits (Final Approach)
See also: Beothuk Song (David Campbell)

Long ago they would have danced with spirits free,
Celebrating, giving thanks for all we see;
But from far and distant shores one day,
Ships and sailors came this way,
And in time this island race would be no more.

How was that first encounter when they came,
What thoughts raced as they
witnessed their world change;
And the conflicts that ensued,
each outcome all the same,
Brought yielding of the world
o'er which they reigned.

As I sit here on my front porch
down by the water's edge,
From the rail I look down into the sea;
As the evening shadows slip away,
And the sun sets on these gentle waves,
I feel island spirits looking out at me.

Three hundred years did mark their slow demise,
The great Red Indian Lake, a last reprise;
Those easy summers 'long the coast
faded into memory,
And their children no more sing or play carefree.

In eighteen twenty-three their plight was known,
Three starving women surrendered all alone;
But two passed on so quickly,
and a lonely soul survived,
A single link to a race that all had died.

As I sit here on my front porch
down by the water's edge,
From the rail I look down into the sea;
As the evening shadows slip away,
And the sun sets on these gentle waves,
I feel island spirits looking out at me.

Shanawdithit lived at Peyton's 'cross the way,
Sketched out her people's story from bygone days;
And the fame since thrust upon her
does mark a point in time,
Sad to be renowned as the last one of your kind.

We visit museums their story for to know,
But fragments now are all that they do hold;
The artifacts and storyboards,
they never can replace,
The tales of that people and that place.

As I sit here on my front porch
down by the water's edge,
From the rail I look down into the sea;
As the evening shadows slip away,
And the sun sets on these gentle waves,
I feel island spirits looking out at me.

####.... Final Approach (Many Faces, 2004) Performance rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####

See more songs by Final Approach.

Notes:
The Beothuk, also known as Red Indians, inhabited several campsites on the shore of Red Indian Lake which is located in the western interior of Newfoundland and drains into the Exploits River. When Newfoundland was discovered, no one really knew how many Beothuk lived there. 2,000 is probably a fair estimate. By 1768, only 400 were left, and by 1829, they were extinct. That year, the last known Beothuk, Nancy Shanawdithit, died of tuberculosis.

For more information about the Beothuk, John Peyton, Nancy Shanawdithit, and Red Indian Lake, see: The Beothuks or Red Indians: The Aboriginal Inhabitants Of Newfoundland by James P Howley, 1914.


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