#02882
That Old Stage (Sláinte) video
#1192: YouTube video by Carl Winter
©2013 ~ Used with permission ~

There stands an old building down near the shore,
The waves roar in under and the steerins fly o'er;
It was carved from the forests of a century gone by,
When wind moved us seaward
and the birds ruled the sky.
With a horse and a sleigh and a buck saw in hand,
They'd leave their small island
and walk to the mainland;
Cross o'er the ice with a horse and a sleigh,
Cut down their timbers and return home each day.

There were no saw mills then
to cut out their planks,
No electrical saws or compressed air tanks;
With a pit saw and a buddy they cut out each stick,
Their hard work was all that they used to stay fit.
Many's a boy grew up in that place,
Reared up a family and tried to keep pace,
With the changing of the tides
and faces of the moon,
Hoping their fortunes would get better soon.

Down in that stage where the boys came of age,
The wood shavings curl for the kids to unfurl,
As they carved out the planks
that will carry them back to the banks.
Down in that stage where the boys came of age,
It's a memory now like salt spray on my brow,
Recalling with fondness
the times spent in the stage.

There's no place as dear as that old stage,
Where men folk would gather no matter the age;
As they spoke of the hardships but also the fun,
Of those they had known
and the work they had done.
They'd talk of the people both now and gone by,
That put smiles on their faces
and a twinkle in their eye;
That old stage was the center of many a man's life,
Where they planned out their days
and got away from their wives.

Down in that stage where the boys came of age,
The wood shavings curl for the kids to unfurl,
As they carved out the planks
that will carry them back to the banks.
Down in that stage where the boys came of age,
It's a memory now like salt spray on my brow,
Recalling with fondness
the times spent in the stage.
Recalling with fondness
the times spent in the stage.

####.... Words and music © Carl Winter of Sláinte, 2010. All rights reserved ....####
Although born high and dry in the airport town of Gander, Carl Winter spent many summers and weekends in his Mother's hometown of Greenspond. One of Carl's fondest memories of his visits to Greenspond was hanging out with his Dad and the other menfolk down in his Uncle Ron's stage during the evenings. During those times the men would chat about the people and happenings in the island community and tell tales. There would always be shavings from the latest building project and scraps of wood to carve and hammer together. Meanwhile outside the boats would be moored for the evening and the Arctic Terns, known locally as Steerins, would be flying about and dipping in Pond Head devouring their evening meal. It doesn't sound like much compared to XBox and Wii, but looking back over the decades it certainly was a special time. This song is inspired by that very special place, that old stage that was created by hand from the sticks of wood that were hauled to the island by Carl's Grandfather and Uncle.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
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.
Steerin(e) - also stearin, stearine, stearing, steering, stern; northern common tern; (Sterna hirundo) and/or arctic tern (S. paradisaea); Both are called 'steerings' by the settler-name which their cry suggests. Some few small islands around the coasts of Newfoundland have been named Steering Islands from the number of terns which breed on them.



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