MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Irish Sailor Boy
Paddy Maher NFLD 1 Tape 15 Track 2
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad / shipwreck and rescue

My parents raised me tenderly having no child but me
But I being bent on roving at home I could not stay
Both day and night they took delight I was their only joy
When first to roam I left my home, cried the Irish sailor boy

I was but fourteen years of age when first went to sea
My parents they shed tears for me when I was going away
I can't relate those sorrows great when wishing them goodbye
From Waterford quay we sailed away for the Irish sailor boy

We scarce being eighteen days at sea when storm rose at hand
Our captain cries, "Look out my boys we soon must see the land."
Our goodly ship rolled through the deep that night she struck a rock
And my young heart for the very first time received a dreadful shock

Our goodly ship rolled through the deep the water came in fast
We scarce had time to launch a boat when the pieces went awreck
We were tossed about for three long days upon the ocean wide
Until the morning of the fourth twas land our captain spied

It was the coast of Newfoundland the first land that was seen
To see its cragged rocks so steep to Erin 's shore's so green
We cruised along those cragged rocks they looked so awful steep
We could not find one place to land the water run so deep

Some of our crew being brisk and brave they landed safe on shore
We only saved bout twelve of them out of the twenty-four
Our captain he being one of them his precious life to save
For ever and ever we'll sound his praise he so noble did behave

We wandered round by moonlight to a little footpath green
And early the next morning St. Peter's town was seen
It was there we got both bread and meat likewise in a bed to lie
We found kind friends in Newfoundland cried the Irish sailor boy

We were put on board a fast sailing ship bound for Erin 's shore
Forever and ever we'll sound the praise we will forevermore
And if I do reach home again I'll look for work on shore
I'll sound the praise of Newfoundland and go to sea no more


Sources: Mercer 136; Greenleaf 258; cf John White recording of Irish Soldier Boy, see Taft 84


Text notes: The singer describes going to see as a young boy. The ship is lost, but some men are rescued in Newfoundland. He vows if he gets home, to sing the praises of Newfoundland and never to leave Ireland again.

Tune notes: A Dorian mode melody, in abba' form, and 4/4 metre.

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