#02171
The Old Mayflower (Kenneth Peacock)

Old Joe B Langdon looking out the door,
Watching the Mayflower come ashore,
Come ashore all on the sand,
And there she smashed like an old tin pan.
Da da da da da diddle la
Da da diddle la diddle la da da
Diddle la diddle la da diddle diddle la
Diddle la diddle la da da.

Oh, out with the cargo, dry fish and ale,
Old Don Mills he stole the pail,
Nellie Peckham quick like a whistle
Grabbed some jars and stole the kettle.
Da da da da da diddle la
Da da diddle la diddle la da da
Diddle la diddle la da diddle diddle la
Diddle la diddle la da da.

Cookie Gillis, the second man,,
Carried the wood across Cape Sand,
He piled it up like an old church tower
And that was the end of the old Mayflower.
Da da da da da diddle la
Da da diddle la diddle la da da
Diddle la diddle la da diddle diddle la
Diddle la diddle la da da.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland chin music ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Mrs Ellen Mary (Nellie) Musseau [1892-1973] of Mouse Island, Port-Aux-Basques, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.87-88, by the National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that for hundreds of years vessels both large and small have been running aground on Newfoundland's treacherous coast. Once it has been established that the boat is abandoned or without a crew, its cargo and fittings are considered fair game by the local inhabitants. In the old days of French and English conflict over the island, many fine pieces of furniture found their way into outport homes from wrecked vessels. Peacock added that he had heard tales that the local settlers would deliberately set beacons in unaccustomed places to lure vessels onto a shoal or reef. Since they had always been left to fend for themselves, they did not much care what nationality the ships were.

Kenneth Peacock noted that 'chin' or 'mouth' music is a vocal imitation of instrumental music and is used for dancing when a fiddle or accordion is not handy. Some singers, like Mrs Musseau, become so proficient that they are often called upon even when instruments are available.

Other examples of chin music collected by Kenneth Peacock can be found in the songs Pork In The Cupboard, I Got A Bonnet Trimmed With Blue, and The Cuckoo's Nest, all of which were also sung by Mrs Musseau.

For another song about the Mayflower see: The Hoban Boys collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best.


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