#02861
An Out-Harbour Merchant Looking For A Wife
(Johnny Burke)

Attention all ye city belles,
and hear the joyful news,
A rich out-harbour merchant
a partner wants to choose;
He buried his wife last winter,
and he's in such fearful grief,
That he pines for a girl in
a showroom to give him some relief.

"Oh me, oh my," I heard this poor girl cry:
"Oh me, oh my, I'm gone on Zachari!
Oh me, oh my," I heard the creature say:
"I'm wild to get a rich
out-harbour merchant from the bay."

He wants a girl can spread
the fish to dry upon the flake,
Can stew a skillet of rounders
and bake a soda cake;
Can graft a piece in a gansey
and eat salt pork and fat,
He's sure of a girl in a showroom,
boys, can polish off all that.

"Oh me, oh my," I heard this poor girl cry:
"Oh me, oh my, I'm gone on Zachari!
Oh me, oh my," I heard the creature say:
"I'm wild to get a rich
out-harbour merchant from the bay."

He wants a girl that's healthy,
with a constitution sound,
Can take her seat in the cod-seine
when the fish are on the ground;
Can splice a patch on a fore-sail,
and hook a kitchen mat,
You bet the girl in the showroom,
lads, she understands all that.

"Oh me, oh my," I heard this poor girl cry:
"Oh me, oh my, I'm gone on Zachari!
Oh me, oh my," I heard the creature say:
"I'm wild to get a rich
out-harbour merchant from the bay."

He wants a girl that's jolly,
full of fun and alive,
Can split a kitchen table
in a game of forty-five;
Knows how to work the coaley
and sew a rim on a hat,
He's sure of a girl in a showroom
that will tumble to all that.

"Oh me, oh my," I heard this poor girl cry:
"Oh me, oh my, I'm gone on Zachari!
Oh me, oh my," I heard the creature say:
"I'm wild to get a rich
out-harbour merchant from the bay."

And now my city wallflowers
who would wish to be his wife,
Leap at this one and only chance
and live a lady's life;
You must milk a goat three times a day
and turn his Sunday coat,
Sure every girl in a showroom,
boys, knows how to milk a goat.

"Oh me, oh my," I heard this poor girl cry:
"Oh me, oh my, I'm gone on Zachari!
Oh me, oh my," I heard the creature say:
"I'm wild to get a rich
out-harbour merchant from the bay."

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL, 1900 ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.56, 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:
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.
Flake - platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore.
Gansey - also guernsey or garnsey; heavy, closely-knit pull-over sweater worn by fishermen and sealers.
Ground - area of shoal water with abundant bait-fish, plankton, etc, where fishing is successfully carried out.
Merchant - entrepreneur engaged in the Newfoundland fish trade, esp in the purchase and export of salt cod-fish, and the financing of the fishing operation through the advance of supplies and credit.
Out-Harbour - bay or harbour other than the chief port of St John's; the inhabited coastal strip or settlement of such an inlet of the sea; outport.
Rounder - small cod-fish or 'tom cod', gutted, headed, salted, and dried without being split.

From John McLeod's Rules Of Card Games:
Forty-Fives - descendant of the Irish game Spoil Five. It is much played among the Irish population in the New World - especially in Nova Scotia - most popular version being one with bidding, technically known as Auction Forty-Fives, and also sometimes called One Hundred and Twenty, which is more logical given that 120 is the target score and the number 45 has no relevance to the game.



line

Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador



line

~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here