MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Coaker
Eddy Primroy NFLD 1 Tape 14 Track 10
Pouch Cove Audio:
Ballad / rescue by boy Mr. Primroy accompanies himself on guitar

Ye fishermen free that go forth on the sea
With engines of various makes
This old jump-spark of mine I will take every time
You can keep all your new Makes-and-breaks

She was easy on fuel but she kicked like a mule
And the screws on the bedding were slack
We all always swore that she'd rise from the floor
And we feared she'd never come back

One evening last fall we went out to our trawl
It looked like twas going to blow
We turned to go in in the teeth of the wind
With a three handed dory in tow

Tom hove up the wheel and he cursed a great deal
He cranked till he found of his heart
He tested the oil and examined the coil
But the devil of it would she start

Twas coming on night with the seas feather white
When up to us rowed a small skiff
And a Bedlamer boy with a cast in his eye
Kindly offered to give us a lift

The kid stepped on board with the air of a Lord
His movements unhurried and slow
He noted the string and the window blind spring
But he got the old Coaker to go

Go go he makes that thing go
How he does it I'm sure I don't know
We can race with the Clyde and keep her alongside
When he coaxes that Coaker to go

So we shipped on the kid and I'm sure glad we did
Now it's seldom we ask for a tow
He gets a full share which I think only fair
For coaxing the Coaker to go

Go go he makes that thing go
How he does it I'm sure I don't know
We can race with the Clyde and keep her alongside
When he coaxes that Coaker to go


Notes

Sources: Taft 56 ("The Six Horse Power Coaker"); Roud 7310.

History: Composed by Arthur Reginald Scammell.

Text notes: "Coaker" is a boat or engine name reference, but named after William Coaker, the founder of the Fisherman's Protective Union, in Newfoundland;   The narrative relates a fishing trip where the motor failed one day, and the fishermen are rescued by a boy in a skiff who is able to restart the motor. The phrase "bedlamer boy" derives from "bete de la mer," an expression that refers to half grown seals and boys. (See the notes for Coaker's Dream for more details on Sir William).  

Tune notes: A triple metre, major key tune, with the phrase pattern abcd.

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