MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Smelling Their Way Home
Tom Cornelly NFLD 2 Tape 23 Track 3
(St. Shott's ?) Audio:
Ballad

It was a schooner Mary Jane
That sailed the Wint'ry sea
And the captain to his crew of twelve
To trawl off _________________

Both stout of heart both strong of arm
The crew it shipped that day
And each one as the good ship did
All hailed from Boston Bay

The trip to the banks were quickly made
Our hold filled o'er a week
And then the fog it settled down
We couldn't see to speak

The Captain lost his reck'nin which he never done before
And he smashed the compass in his rage
And said let her drift ashore

For five long weeks we drifted
In that ever increasing fog
At last the crew with plenty of food
We did starve for the want of grog

We often wondered where we were
But had no way to know
Nothing but fog on every hand
And Davy Jones below


Notes


History: Found in Newfoundland.

Text:   The "good" schooner Mary Jane from Boston Bay heads out for "the Banks" with a "good" crew; also from Boston Bay. Fog descends on them and for the first time in his career the captain loses "all reckoning." They drift in the fog for five weeks and the crew nears starvation. Eventually they hear the breakers on the shore and smell beans and the general air of Boston on a Saturday night. They let down their anchor and walk to shore in the fog guided only by their sense of smell.

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.