Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea (Kenneth Peacock)

See also: The Ocean Burial (Rev. Edwin H Chapin)

"Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea."
Those words came slow and faintly
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
In his cabin bunk at the close of day.

"Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea
Where the cold dark waves will swallow me,
Where no light shall break through the darkening waves,
And no sunbeam find my silent grave."

He had mourned and pined till o'er his brow
Death's shades had slowly crept there now,
He wished his home and loved ones nigh
As the sailors gathered to see him die.

"Oh bury me where my mother's prayer,
And my sister's tears shall mingle there,
By my father's grave my grave shall be,
Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea."

"Oh bury me not" - his voice failed there,
They paid no heed to his dying prayer
They lowered him down o'er the ship's dark side
And above him closed the dismal tide.

He had no costly winding sheet
To wrap around his head or feet,
They lowered him down where the billows roar
In the deep deep sea far from the shore.

A girl on shore many tears will shed
For him who lies on the ocean bed;
Where above his heart the whale will hiss,
And his pallid lips the fish will kiss.

####.... Variant of a lament published in 1839 by Rev. Edwin H Chapin [1814-1880] and set to music in 1850 by George N Allen [1812-1877] ....####

This variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.151-152, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the words of this sailor's lament were supposed to have been written by a Rev E H Chapin and published as The Ocean Burial in the September 1839 issue of Poe's Southern Literary Messenger. When the words were set to music by George N Allen, the song became a fo'c'sle favourite and soon found its way into the lumberjacks' repertoire as well. After it reached the frontier, the cowboys took it to their hearts and made it over into the famous Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie. Peacock also noted that although the original poem is longer, this Newfoundland variant of The Ocean Burial has been considerably improved by oral transmission.


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