Digital Tradition Mirror

The Loss of the Bay Rupert

The Loss of the Bay Rupert
(Larry Kaplan)

Now the Hudson Bay Company
Runs its ships in the summertime
And they stock the stores of the Labrador
And they stock them full for the wintertime.
The Bay Rupert ran in '28,
Bound down for Baffinland
But to get to Hopedale, don't 'cha know?
You'd be better off by land.

cho: Oh, they got no charts for the Labrador
     All you hear is "Stay away!"
     There's rocks and ice, Dark as hell at night,
     From Old Jack Plains Way to Bromfield Bay,
     There's wooden ships; steaming ships,
     They got frozen men below;
     There's mountains right beneath your keel,
     So for God's sake don't you go!

She had shoes and coffee, boots and tea,
She had butter, pipes and bridles;
Sleeping bags and saddle soap,
And a dozen score of Bibles;
She was open wide, pushing thru the tide,
When she hit that granite rock --
With a mighty sound both ends went down,
And her middle opened up.

It was Sunday when that ship went down
And the town was all at prayer;
But no missionary minister or
The word of God could have kept them there.
"All's lost, all's lost," the captain cried,
"And I'll never sail no more".
"All's found, all's found!" cried the Eskimos,
As they waited by the shore.

Well the tide come in and the goods did too,
And they saved them from the sea.
And they said. "It's great doing business
With the Hudson Bay Company --
We've got shoes and coffee, boots and tea;
We got butter, pipes and bridles,
Sleeping bags and saddle soap,
But to hell with all them Bibles!"

by Larry Kaplan copyright 1977 BMI, Winter Harbor Music

The song is on the Folk-Legacy CD "And So Will We Yet," by Bok, Muir, & Trickett
. The CD notes say Larry Kaplan found this story in the log of the Arctic schoon
er Bowdoin, the subject of another song by pediatrician/songwriter Larry Kaplan.
 "Bay Rupert" is supposedly a true story of a Hudson's Bay supply ship trying to
 make in to the Morvian Missionary settlement at Hopedale, which consisted of a
couple of Christian missionaries and about a score of Innuit.


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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