#02713
When We Was Boys (Crowd Of Bold Sharemen)
videos
#1197: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

I'm standing here all by my strand,
watch the waves roll on the sand,
The sea breeze bouncing off the land
blows dirt into my eyes;
I mind when we were active lads,
in fishing boats went with our dads,
To do what work we had when we was boys.

We'd go to sea in dories,
we'd go to sea in skiffs,
Set lobster pots in spring,
shoot all them seabirds off the cliffs;
And if the times are proper,
what's the point of making noise,
Oh, how hard did we work when we was boys.

When we was boys, when we was boys;
Oh, how hard did we work when we was boys.

From water would our living take,
the women all the fish would make,
Spread them out upon the flake,
and hope for sunny skies;
Leave early on a foggy morn,
work until you're weary worn,
Feel your way home by the horn,
when we was boys.

Where a crowd of youngsters find
around the rock upon the beach,
Where now the boats lie idle
and the fish are out of reach;
Look down upon the harbour
when you go out on the rise,
It looks nothing like it did when we was boys.

When we was boys, when we was boys;
It looks nothing like it did when we was boys.

The ocean's now a barren grave,
we've lost our old-fashion ways,
Folks are moving from the bay,
it's a thing I did espy;
We who stay live with the fear
of growing older every year,
We pray our children would stay here,
just like when we was boys.

We never had much money
but we got by all the same,
We never begged for handouts,
we weren't looking to lay blame;
We practiced self-reliance,
hailed to each other's pride,
But times have changed so much
since we was boys.

Since we was boys, since we was boys;
Yes, times have changed so much
since we was boys.

Today we look to government
instead of being independent,
Now the money's all been spent,
we've witnessed it be hard;
There's times we've been through thick and thin,
been knocked down got up again,
We always found a way to win,
when we was boys.

Now the foghorn sends a lonely call
on its way across the swell,
The lighthouses were then replaced
with a flashlight on the hill;
Who was it said that elders
are experienced and wise,
No one wants to hear about when we was boys.

When we was boys, when we was boys;
No one wants to hear about when we was boys.

When we was boys, when we was boys;
Yes, times have changed so much
since we was boys.

####.... Jim Payne ....####
This variant was recorded by A Crowd Of Bold Sharemen (A Crowd Of Bold Sharemen, trk#4, 2002, Singsong Inc, St John's, NL).

Liner Notes: Prior to the start of a concert at the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Jim Payne met and struck up a conversation with Henry John Keel, a local octagenarian who described the bustling scene around Bonavista Harbour when he was a lad, and lamented the changes over the years that culminated with the moratorium on the northern cod fishery. Ironically, Bonavista is the place where John Cabot is reputed to have landed in the new world and could catch fish in abundance merely by lowering baskets over the side of his boat. Replaying the conversation in his head while driving back up the spectacularly beautiful eastern side of the Bonavista Peninsula, Jim took Mr Keel's story and put it in rhyme.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Flake - platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore.

From Princeton University's WordNet Search:
Strand - poetic term for a shore (as the area periodically covered and uncovered by the tides).

The video below features an excellent cover performance by Rich Reeves of Grand Falls-Windsor, NL


#987: YouTube video by RichReevesNL
©2015 ~ Used with permission ~


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