Digital Tradition Mirror

The Mary L. Mackay

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The Mary L. Mackay

O come, all you hearty haddockers, who winter fishing go,
And brave the seas upon the Banks in stormy winds and snow
And ye who love hard driving, come listen to my lay
Of the run we made front Portland on the Mary L. Mackay.

We hung the muslin on her, the wind began to hum,
Twenty hardy Nova Scotia men chock full of Portland rum,
Mainsail, foresail, jib and jumbo, on that wild December day,
As we passed Cape Elizabeth and slugged for Fundy Bay.

We slammed her by Monhegan as the gale began to scream,
Our vessel took to dancing in a way that was no dream,
A howler o'er the toprall we steered sou'west away,
O she was a hound for running, was the Mary L. Mackay.

`Storm along and drive along, punch her through the ribs,
Don't mind your boarding combers as the solid green she dips.
Just mind your eye and watch the wheel,' our skipper he did say.
`Clear decks we'll sport tomorrow on the Mary L. Mackay.'

We slammed her to Matinicus, the skipper hauled the log,
`Sixteen knots! Lord Harry, ain't she just the gal to jog?'
The half-canned wheelsman shouted, as he swung her on her way,
`Just watch me tear the mainsail off the Mary L. Mackay.

The rum was passing merrily and the gang was feeling grand,
Long necks dancing in her wake from where we left the land,
Our skipper he kept sober, for he knew how things would lay,
And he made us furl the mainsail on the Mary L. Mackay.

We laced our wheelsman to the box as he steered her through the
A big sea hove his dory-mate right over the main-boom,
It tore the oil pants off his legs and you could hear him say,
`There's a power of water flying o'er the Mary L. Mackay.'

Our skipper didn't care to make his wife a widow yet,
He swung her off to Yarmouth Cape with just her foresail set.
And passed Fourchu next morning and shut in at break of day,
And soon in sheltering harbour lay the Mary L. Mackay.

From Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth Sound two-twenty miles we ran,
In eighteen hours, my bully boys, now beat that if you can,
The gang said `twas seamanship, the skipper he kept dumb,
But the force that drove our vessel was the power of Portland rum.

From Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia, Creighton
Words apparently by Frederick W Wallace


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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