#02455 Print This Page
As I rowed ashore from me schooner close by,
A girl on the beach I chanced to espy:
Her hair it was red, and her bonnet was blue,
And her place of abode it was Harbour Le Cou.
Oh, boldly I asked her to walk on the sand,
She smiled like an angel and held out her hand;
While I buttoned me guernsey and I hove 'way me chew,
In the dark rolling waters of Harbour Le Cou.
My ship she lay anchored far out on the tide,
As I strolled along with me maid at my side;
I told her I loved her, she said I'll be true,
And I winked at the moon over Harbour Le Cou.
As we walked on the sands at the close of the day,
I thought of my wife who was home in Torbay;
Well, I knew that she'd kill me if she only knew,
I was courting a lassie in Harbour Le Cou.
As we passed a log cabin that stood on the shore,
I met an old comrade I'd sailed with before;
He treated me kindly sayin', Dick, how are you?
It's seldom I see you in Harbour Le Cou.
And as I was parting, this maiden in tow,
He broke up my party with one single blow;
Sayin', regards to your missus and your wee kiddies, too,
I remember her well, she's from Harbour Le Cou.
Well, I looked at this damsel a-standing 'longside,
And her jaw it dropped, her mouth opened wide;
And then like a she-cat upon me she flew,
And I fled from the furies of Harbour Le Cou.
Come all you young sailors who walk on the shore,
Beware of old comrades you sailed with before;
Beware of the maiden with the bonnet of blue,
And the pretty young damsels of Harbour Le Cou.
This variant was arranged and recorded by Dick Nolan (I'se The B'y What Catches Da Fish, trk#6, 1966, Arc Sounds, Ltd., Toronto, Ontario).
A variant was sung in 1950 by Jim Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Ray, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A similar variant was collected in 1951 from Bill Brennan of Stock Cove, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.198-199, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
A variant was also published in Gerald S. Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (Third edition, p.26, 1955).
Also published on p.7 of Songs Of Newfoundland, a complimentary booklet of lyrics to twenty-one songs distributed by the Bennett Brewing Co. Ltd., of St. John's, NL, with the cooperation of the Gerald S. Doyle Song Book.
A variant was recorded as Harbour Le Cou by Ryan's Fancy (Ryan's Fancy Live ©1975, Audat Records).
See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.
Also recorded by Anchors Aweigh (When Sailors Sing, trk#10, 2002, self-produced at WE Music Studio, Cormack, NL).
See more songs by Anchors Aweigh.
From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Guernsey - also gansey or garnsey; heavy, closely-knit pull-over sweater worn by fishermen and sealers.