#03337
Foundered At Sea (James Murphy)
(Loss Of The Brig Jura)

Come all you Newfoundlanders
and listen unto me,
I'll tell you of the Jura
when she went down at sea;
On the 25th of September,
I remember well the day,
We hoisted up our topsails
and from Tilt Cove sailed away.

We had not long been sailing
when it blew a heavy gale,
The captain cries, aloft, my boys,
and shorten every sail;
The Jura's crew consisted of
ten stout seamen bold,
And they belonged to Newfoundland
where the wintry wind blew cold.

As the Jura rolled upon the deep
waves across her bore,
She was loaded to the scuppers
with lead and copper ore;
And some were lashed unto the pumps
to keep the vessel free,
Whilst more were throwing copper ore
into the raging sea.

As the vessel rolled tremendously
our hearts were feigning sick,
To see our stout lower topsail
come crashing to the deck;
The captain came with axe in hand
to cut the yard away,
And we stopped that leak with canvas
on that wild and stormy day.

It was on a Friday morning,
it filled our hearts with glee,
To see a barque with topsails reefed
come sailing on our lee;
We hoist a signal of distress,
the Union upside down,
She put out her boat to save us
for fear we would all drown.

Now we're on board of the Albatross
from Greenland she has come,
She's bound for Philadelphia
far from our native home;
And when I will return again
I will get work on shore,
I will tell the tales of midnight gales
and go to sea no more.

####.... Variant of the ballad, Loss Of The Brig Jura, authored by an anonymous sailor ....####
This variant was printed in St John's in 1905 on pp.11-12 of Murphy's Sealers' Song Book, and in 1912 as Loss Of The Brig Jura on pp.9-10 of Old Songs Of Newfoundland; both variants published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher Notes:
The Jura left Tilt Cove some thirty years ago with a load of copper ore bound for Swansea; after being out at sea for a day or so, a storm arose, the ship foundered and the sailors were rescued by the Albatross and brought to Philadelphia. The seamen were natives of St. John's.

The following notes were excerpted from Once Upon A Mine: Story Of Pre-Confederation Mines On The Island Of Newfoundland by Wendy Martin, Copyright ©1983 by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Montreal, Quebec:

Tilt Cove Copper Mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula was established in 1864. In an effort to save money, copper ore was processed locally between 1888 and 1892, rather than just shipping it raw to smelters in Swansea, Wales. But the sea voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in other years had its dangers. On 25 September 1875, the brig Jura left Tilt Cove for Swansea with a load of ore and ran into a storm that broke open the main hatch and toppled the masts, as one of the ten sailors aboard related in a song called Loss of the Brig Jura:


"We worked to clear the wreck
while the tempest loud did roar,
And we sadly thought of home and friends
we never might see no more;
While some were lashed unto the pumps
to keep the vessel free,
And more were heaving copper ore
into the raging sea."

Their valiant efforts failed to save the brig, and at last crewmen had to climb upon a passing barque and leave the Jura to her doom:

"With four feet of water in her hold,
her mast and booms just gone,
She would be at the bottom
long before the day was done;
With a heavy load of copper ore
the Jura she went down,
And she was bound from Tilt Cove
across to Swansea town."

From Wikipedia:
Swansea - coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands. Swansea had a population of 169,880 in 2001 and is the second most populous city in Wales after Cardiff and the third most populous county in Wales after Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf. During its 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was one of the key centres of the world copper industry, earning the nickname 'Copperopolis'.
Tilt Cove - town located southeast of Baie Verte on Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. The post or Way office was established in 1869. The population was 1,370 in 1901 and 57 by 1956. It had 7 people as of August 2008. The Queen of Swansea Memorial, which is located in Tilt Cove, was erected in memory of the passengers and crew who perished on Gull Island following the sinking of the vessel Queen of Swansea. This was one of the ships which transported copper ore from Tilt Cove to Wales. Settled around 1813 or earlier by George and Mary Winsor from the West Country England, Tilt Cove was a tiny fishing settlement with a population of about 25. In 1857, Smith McKay discovered rich deposits of copper ore and in 1864, in conjunction with C F Bennett, began mining operations. In 1916, the population peaked to 1500.


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