MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Captain Spinney
Pat Critch NFLD 2 Tape 11 Track 5
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad

(Recited, then verse sung)

CRITCH:

In the chilly month [sic] of winter in the midst of frost and snow
We left our own safe harbour and off for George's go
Where the boisterous winds do rattle, it strikes heavy in our sails
While we go off a-spouting jus' like some flights o’ whales

Our sails are always good made of the best of duck
Our riggin' it's manila rope _____ through patent blocks
Our vessels are built of good white oak well finished wit’ red paste
And we _____ heavy northern winds and stormy winter gales

Where the frost and snow in torrents blow and breakers on each side
To see our noble vessel how justly (?) she do ride
While the frost contains in mountains and the bitter winds do blow
While we poor sons of Americay all hardships undergo

The hardships of those George's banks no men _________
No pensman can describe
The roughness of the water and the furies of it's tide
But stay a while and listen t'ink what l say be true
The Ocean Queen she's missing and drownded all her crew

There was seventeen young heroes brave jus' in the prime of life
Commanded by young Spinney he left a loving wife
To her was three months married when from her he did part
But now she's left a widow with a sad and a broken heart

She is not the only one these George’s caused to weep
Husbands, sons and fathers are buried in the deep
God know how to pity them he just know how they feel
There is a day of guilt(?) to come when every soul must yield

LEACH: You know the air to that?
CRITCH: [Sings the first verse]
In the chilly month of winter ________ whales


Notes


Text: Describes the harsh conditions on the Georges Banks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The text commemorates men and ships lost on the banks, specifically Captain Spinney.

Tune: Full text recited and then the first verse sung.

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