Newfoundland and Labrador Folklore: A Sampler of Songs, Narrations, and Tunes


• archival recordings, made between 1960 and 1994, drawn from the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA)

• previously unissued performances by Newfoundland icons Emile Benoit and Rufus Guinchard (fiddle), and Minnie White (accordion), as well as singers of an earlier generation such as Rose Eustise, Elizabeth Barter, Annie Green, and Allan MacArthur

• a diverse anthology of ballads, recitations and stories, a Gaelic milling song, reels and jigs, bawdy songs, and a macaronic (French-English) song 

• singers and instrumentalists from Flat Bay, Ship Harbour, Branch, Colinet, Job's Cove, Arnold's Cove, Cull's Harbour, Tors Cove, Rocky Harbour Cove, Hawke's Bay, St. John's, Francois, Black Duck Brook, Green Island Brook, the Codroy Valley, and the Lower Labrador Coast

• 45-page accompanying booklet with text and tune transcriptions, song notes, performer biographies, and an essay by eminent folklorist, Dr. Peter Narváez

To order a copy of Newfoundland and Labrador Folklore, click here.


Click on book cover to see Playlist

  Dogsled Tall Tale (narration) – Performer Unknown

 This tall tale (narrator unidentified on the recording) is a humourous short story packed with obvious lies and exaggerations, in this case, a story about a sled dog being sliced in half and joined back together upside down. 

  Tom Tobin's Dicky Bird – Mike Meaney

 This song, ostensibly about a rooster, hails from the Grey Islands likely in the 1930s. It is a bawdy song performed by a fine ballad singer in the a cappella tradition.

  Saint Anne's Reel – Minnie White

 Performed by Minnie White on mandolin, this reel was first popularized in 1929 through a recording by legendary Montreal fiddler Joseph Allard. It has since become one of the best known traditional dance tunes in Atlantic Canada, New England, West Virginia and the British Isles.


Music, Media and Place

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000