They Say The Labrador Is Sold For .30¢ (Johnny Burke) lyric
Says Bride Kinsella:
I hear the Labrador is sold today from Betsy Cox,
The country is on its uppers, and the town is on the rocks;
I'm told it's sold for thirty cents, that's all that he could raise;
Some fellow came from Canada, he had stowed in the vase.
What is his name said Martha Snook. I heard from Julia Breen,
A fellow they call Chaplain who cuts didoes on the screen;
Is that him on the movies that I thought a millionaire,
Who couldn't scrape up cash enough to pay to cut his hair.
I heard him say if hard he's pushed he may scrape ten cents more,
But he wants a suit of Stanfield's for to face the Labrador;
He says a cotton drawers don't suit at forty-five below,
To live in Battle Harbour with the winter winds and snow.
He loves the country dearly and it grieves his heart with pain,
To think about poor huskies that must spend their lives in Nain;
And picture those poor creatures for a living hard must fight,
While here you're dodging motor cars at morning, noon and night.
When I heard the Labrador was sold my heart feels sad today,
To think on Grady Harbour as a child I used to play;
Where many a night upon the stage, and at daylight I was found,
On the bow oar in the cod seine, and we rowing to the ground.
And now who sold the Labrador, the people want to know,
Where fishermen each summer to different harbours go;
Mr. Alderdice, Sir William, and Sir Richard all deny,
Then it must be Martin Dingle who sold us on the sly.
####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St. John's, NL ....####
Published as Dear Lord, They Say The Labrador Is Sold For .30¢ in Burke's Ballads, p.48, 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 The Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Bow Oar - cuddy oar; foreward oar. Position of oars used in a trap skiff.
Cod-Seine - large net, up to 600 feet (182.8 m) in length, set around a school of cod, the 'foots' drawn together to form a bag, and hauled at sea or in shallow water near the shore.
Ground - area of shoal water with abundant bait-fish, plankton, etc, where fishing is successfully carried out.
Stage - elevated platform on the shore with working tables, sheds, etc, where fish are landed and processed for salting and drying, and fishing gear and supplies are stored; Fishing stage.
From Your Dictionary:
Cut Didoes - to behave in mischievous or silly ways.
From Our Labrador:
Nain - established in 1771 by Moravian missionaries, Nain, at 56° 30', is the northernmost municipality in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is approximately 230 air miles north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, a major centre and stop-over for people traveling south, west and north. 2004 estimated population of 1230.
¹Grady Harbour is a small island located within the Gannet Island Park Reserve, and is approximately 1176 km (or 1 day and 8 hours) by ferry southeast of Nain, Labrador.
²Based in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, Stanfield's Limited has been making apparel products for Canadians since 1856. Of course, it is known as "The Underwear Company"; however, its product offering extends beyond men's underwear and winter underwear into socks, sportswear, fire retardant safety base layers, and ladies underwear products. Stanfield's is synonymous with Canadian winters.