#02777
Cotton's Patch - by sealer (Johnny Burke)
See also: Cotton's Patch - by pilot (Johnny Burke)

We got up steam the ninth of March
and then we sailed away,
And soon was cutting through the gap
for the Northern patch that day;
We left the Eagle in our wake
when rounding Baccalieu,
The Neptune and the Thetis, boys,
and all her hardy crew.

Oh, didn't we ramble; oh, didn't we ramble;
We rambled all around, in and over the ground;
Oh, didn't we ramble, scramble,
But the devil a sign of Cotton's patch we found.

I was in the barrel all the day
and nearly half the night,
But not a sign of Cotton's patch
did ever meet might sight;
At last I said to Wesley Kean,
I think we missed the fat,
May the devil haul you, Cotton,
are you talking through your hat.

Oh, didn't we ramble; oh, didn't we ramble;
We rambled all around, in and over the ground;
Oh, didn't we ramble, scramble,
But the devil a sign of Cotton's patch we found.

I walked nine miles on broken ice,
and frozen to the chin,
And like a frozen crackie,
to my ear holes fallin' in;
I turned a stone on Cotton's patch
and said to Mr Cave,
They are gone on board the Neptune,
to George Barbour for a shave.

Oh, didn't we ramble; oh, didn't we ramble;
We rambled all around, in and over the ground;
Oh, didn't we ramble, scramble,
But the devil a sign of Cotton's patch we found.

We then reeled up and put for home,
we didn't strike the batch,
We didn't see a cotton,
nor half a wincey patch;
The only patch I saw this spring,
and saw it every day,
Was the patch on Tapper's trousers,
he had sewn on in Torbay.

Oh, didn't we ramble; oh, didn't we ramble;
We rambled all around, in and over the ground;
Oh, didn't we ramble, scramble,
But the devil a sign of Cotton's patch we found.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL, 1922 ....####

Published in Burke's Ballads, pp.14-15, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

From De-Burking Johnny Burke, an Excluded Canadian Troubadour by Paul Mathew St Pierre:
Cotton's Patch - burlesque of Major Sydney Cotton's attempt to locate the main patch of seals off the Atlantic coast.

From Princeton University's WordNet:
Wincey - plain or twilled fabric of wool and cotton used especially for warm shirts or skirts and pajamas.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Barrel - protective enclosure on mast from which a man scans the sea for seals, whales, etc; crow's nest; parlour.
Crackie - small, noisy mongrel dog; frequently in the phrase 'saucy as a cracky', applied to a person who usually has a saucy tongue or a person who will answer back.
Northern Patch - concentration of harp or hooded seals breeding on the ice-floes off Labrador and the north-east coast of Newfoundland; patch.


line

Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador



line

~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here