MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

The Wreck Of The Tolsby

Mrs. John Molloy NFLD 2 Tape 16A Track 4
St. Shott's Audio:

LEACH: All right

Ye daring sons of Newfoundland, come listen unto me
And l will sing of dangers that are met with at sea
I’ll tell you of the Tolsby that came to grief one day
At a place called Little Seal's Cove up in Trepassey Bay.

She left Galveston, Texas in December, safe and sound,
With a heavy load of cotton to a port in France was bound
Her voyage being uneventful till her course she tried to trade
All in a blinding snowstorm while making for Cape Race.

It was on Monday afternoon the storm it did appear
On the thirteenth day of January, to you I’ll make it clear,
When suddenly she struck a rock, which ships had struck before,
Some distance from Freshwater Point, near little Seal Cave Shore.

With twenty-seven souls on board, which did compose her crew,
They lowered the boats when Captain Payne gave orders for to do
Like matchwood they were smashed in twain by heavy seas and knocks
While those frail craft in _______ were striking on the rocks.

They jumped into the seething froth and swam towards the beach
With thanks unto kind providence, they all did safely reach
With the wreckage from the ship they left amidst the storm
A fire upon the rocky beach that night to keep them warm.

They won't forget that awful night, when they had reached the shore,
With the frowning cliffs all 'round them and the ocean's maddened roar
With the frozen sleet beneath their feet and freezing, blinding spray
Shipwrecked near Little Seal Cave up in Trepassey Bay.

Don't talk to me of other lands where courage has been shown
Have we not got the men to do such brave deeds in our own?
Where would you find such braver men than those upon that day
Who saved the Tolsby's shipwrecked crew up in Trepassey Bay?

At ten o'clock next morning some fishermen from the __________
'Twas on that awful precipice they chanced to cast a look
They saw the Tolsby's shipwrecked crew five hundred feet below
And brave Joe Parry volunteered that he would to them go.

This gallant, valiant fisherman such danger would have faced
As they low'rd him o'er the hillside with a rope tied round his waist
Around the waist of twenty-two the hempen rope he tied
And one by one they were pulled up that rugged steep hillside.

(Speaks) Now, sir, the next verse after it ________________


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.