MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

The Wreck of the Riseover

Ned Lee NFLD 2 Tape 14 Track 1
St. Mary's Audio:

NED LEE: If l makes a mistake, you'll have to stop it.
LEACH: It won't make any difference.
NED LEE: ________ verses to it.
LEACH: Here I’ll hold it.

Attention, fellow countrymen, please hark to what l say
While l relate the dangers that happened on the sea
Ah, now …………………


The Riseover from the Northern Bay, with lumber she did sail
She was deeply laden, filled up to the rail,
For St. John's town was bound, my b'ys, her anchor there she weighed
And with a sweet and a pleasant breeze the schooner sailed away.

She was only but a short time out, when a heavy breeze did blow
The evening it got bitter cold with blinding sleet and snow
And near the middle of the night a fearful sea did rise
It was a hard and trying time on those poor sailor boys.

Her skipper, he gave orders that night to shorten sail
All hoping that by daylight she would ride out the gale
The heavy breeze she could not bear, the sea broke over her rail
At length our schooner [word erased here] in the fury of the gale.

To save their lives, a raft was made and that was quickly manned
By those poor, shipwrecked fishermen in hopes to make the land
But when the raft got near the shore, it quickly broke in two
And carried off two fishermen from the Riseover's crew.

The fishermen to reach the shore, their heart was filled with joy
It changed to sadness quickly, when they heard their comrades cry,


And as they watched them drive to sea, while they stood on the shore,
They saw them wave a fond adieu and they were seen no more.

The Fogota quickly put to sea to search the coast around
But no sign of the missing men could anywhere be found
The... no sign of the fishermen could anywhere be found
John Pomeroy and poor Spracklin put up a noble fight
And lost their lives like heroes in the gale of Sunday night.

There it is for ye.


Sources: Roud 4408; Burke, 1912: 19; Lehr, 1985: 163; Mercer, 1979: 150 (Loss of the Riseover); Peacock, 1965: 958.
From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Etchegary, Tom MUNFLA 69-12.

History: According to the Traditional Ballad Index (h ttp://, the Riseover was wrecked on Muddy Shag Rock on November 19, 1911.

Text: The Riseover leaves St. John’s in good weather. That night they hit a storm and are shipwrecked. A life raft is made and all but two of the crew members make it to shore. A search boat is sent, but the bodies are not found.

Tune: The text is recited and through composed.

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