MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Wreck of the Toravan
John Power NFLD 2 Tape 1 Track 1
Tors Cove Audio:
Song

Male Voice:(speaks) Welcome back, sir.

[Two or three people speak at once here]

Female Voice:(speaks) Now you say something.

Male Voice:(speaks) Give you a shot. (Laughter)

Male Voice:(Speaks) You're welcome back again.

Leach: (Speaks) All right

One night last week at 12 o'clock as l lay in my bed,
I heard the steamer blowing just inside Cape Broyle Head
I rose from ‘neath the blankets to the window stretched my neck
And l saw the steamer Toravan and she was a total wreck.

As morning dawned the crowd came in from places all around
They tried to fight and grab it all, whatever there they found.
They only thing they didn't touch is that they couldn't get.
'Twas the bottom of the steamer and l believe they'll get that yet .

They came from Tors Cove, Shore's Cove, Admiral's Cove, and Caplin Cove,
Renews, Fermeuse, Ferryland also
Bay Bulls, Cape Broyle, Aquaforte, and Mobile
People came from places where Buckley's goat do grow.

There'll be bread and jam the whole year round and oxo cubes and rice,
Rice and macaroni, oh, boys, won’t that be nice
Leaden pipes and piles of rope we're selling now for cash
They saved from out the Toravan, that night they made the dash .

Pat _______ was there, Lar French was there. The Colberts, too, they got their share
Dick Nolan says he’s felling sick on oxo cubes and jam.
Mike ______ and the other boys from up the shore, they are no fIies.
They're living high today, my boys, on katsup and boiled ham.

ln every house on the Southern Shore that you'll go in today
You're sure to find Borne wreckage in the cupboard stowed away.
It's _________ on the luxuries at night and noon and morn
They will not pay a custom tax till Gabriel blows the horn

The winter now is coming round, I’ll tell you aIl some news
If you want to get a cheap job done, go to Clobert for new shoes.
And if he charges you too much, just tell him not to mind
Just stroll away to Ferryland, in the harbour more you'll find


Notes


History: Newfoundland shipwreck ballad.

Text: Describes the looting of the ship the "Toravan" after it went ashore near Cape Broyle Head.

Tune: This ballad is sung to the tune of John Burke's "Kelligrews Soiree."  This lively 6/8 ditty, sung in a bright major tonality, has an "ABAC" form with the B line modulating to the dominant and the C line arriving back at the tonic.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.