Digital Tradition Mirror

Bound Down to Newfoundland

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Bound Down to Newfoundland

You landsmen that live on land,
It's little do you know
What us poor seamen do endure
When stormy winds do blow;
On St. Patrick's Day we sailed away
In the Schooner Mary Ann,
We left New York, our native home,
Bound down for Newfoundland.

The morning service it being o'er
We quickly slipped our lines,
And the Liberty statue in New York
We soon left far behind.
We spread our canvas to the breeze
For to shove us off the land
As we squared away from our native homes,
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Our captain was a strapping youth
Scarce thirty years of age;
He was wedded to his loving wife
Three days before we sailed,
But little did she ever think,
As you might understand,
That her husband dear she would see no more
As he sailed for Newfoundland.

Three days after we set sail
Our captain he fell sick,
And scarcely was he able
To show himself on deck,
He called his mate unto him
And thus to him did say,
"I am stricken down with some disease
As you might understand,

And to you, my mate, I will leave full charge,
Bound down to Newfoundland."
But if you can reach any port
On the Nova Scotia shore,
Give me a decent burial;
Of you I'll ask no more,
And if you ever do reach New York,
My death you will make known,
For my dying, sorrow it will bring
To my once-loved native shore. "

With saddened hearts we swung her off
His orders to obey;
We made the land quite early
All on that very day,
And four o'clock in the evening
It was at God's command,
In Arichat our captain died,
Bound down to Newfoundland.

The doctor he was called on board
His death for to make known,
Smallpox on board was raging,
Was told to every man,
It was on the following evening
Two more were sent on shore;
May the Lord have mercy on their souls
We shall never see them more.

Out of five bold youths that left New York
Only two now did return
Home to their wives and families
Their losses for to mourn.
Home to their wives and families,
And never more to roam,
And learn to live as landsmen do
Forever safe at home.

From Maritime Folk Songs, Creighton
Collected from Berton Young, West Petpeswick, 1951
Note: you can fit in the longer verse 4 by repeating
     the last two lines of the tune. RG
DT #615
Laws D22

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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