#02891
Water Street Disturbance (Johnny Burke)

On Tuesday last at half past ten
a crowd did congregate,
It started with two hundred men
who walked the streets till late;
A banner they carried in the crowd,
for the flag was at its head,
And marked in big red letters on the banner:
WORK or BREAD.

They marched up to the big dry dock
where the man-of-war ship lay,
And saw the captain of the ship
about their cause that day;
The dock was very nearly filled
with anxious men and boys,
All watching the procession
that was growing quite a size.

At the Colonial Building in the east
they marched down Water Street,
And halted at the Assembly House,
all members for to meet;
Our Premier spoke in hopeful tone,
he'd do the best he can,
As they would be most happy
to find work for every man.

Our Premier said he pitied them,
how he would do his best,
And find employment for the crowd,
although a poor filled chest;
He spoke in kind and feeling terms
and gave them words of cheer,
And sorry to see men idle
at this season of the year.

All left again for Water Street
and there attacked a store,
While some got out upon the roof,
and more broke in the door;
Some officers then came along
and put the trouble down,
And they ordered fifty specials
to be sworn to watch the town.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.40, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

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