She got up steam the twelfth of March and shortly did embark
They reached the gulf in early March the whitecoats for to slew
She passed near Channel homeward bound as news came out next day
The last of March the storm came on with blinding snow and sleet
St. Mary's Bay she never reached as news came out next morn
She searched Cape Race and every place until she reached Cape Pine
All things do happen for the best but if they're called away
Female voice: We're certainly glad to get that one: you're the first person to sing this for us.
Sources: Mercer 180 ("Southern Cross"); Laws dD36; Greenleaf 1968:281; Peacock 973 ("The Southern Cross "); Doyle 1940:57, 1955: 54, and 1966:41; Leach 202; Lehr 175; for recordings by Omar Blondahl, Alan Mills, see Taft 94.
History: Two songs about the tragic loss of the Southern Cross are known in Newfoundland. One is attributed to Lizzie C. Rose on an Omar Blondahl recording (Rodeo RLP 5). The ship was returning to St. John's from sealing on the sea ice in 1914. Lehr and Best note that the ship was last sighed by the Portia. 170 men lost their lives in a season that also saw the loss of a second sealing ship, the Newfoundland. 252 men died in a single storm (Lehr 176). That loss is spoken of in a story collected by Leach from Pattie Maher of Flatrock.
Text notes: The singer narrates the story of the wreck of the sealing ship, the Southern Cross.Tune notes: Mr. Primroy, who accompanies himself on the guitar, sings a different tune from the one collected by Peacock (in the Codroy Valley). This melody is in a major key, 4/4 metre, with a phrase repetition pattern of "abac" for each stanza.
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