MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Bank Fishermen
Paddy Maher NFLD 1 Tape 15 Track 4
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad / shipwreck

Came all you hardy fishermen and listen unto me that are
While I relate the hardships that are suffered on the sea
By those who toil to earn their bread upon the stormy deep
And risk their lives in dories a family for to keep

It was on the eleventh of April from Gloucester we set sail
Bor'es [Boreas] from her lofty heights it blew a pleasant gale
Before the wind we run along with every stitch all new
She carried six Yankee dories and a bonny Gloucester crew

We made the Bay of Islands on the west of Newfoundland
Her name it was the Peerless with a Dutchman in command
We took on board a trip of bait and shook out every form
And for the banks we run along before a Southwest storm

We arrived on the banks in the afternoon shook out our starboard fall
And quickly our dories lowered for to set out our trawl
When suddenly a storm did rise the foaming seas did churn
And twelve fine hardy fishermen no more will they return

Our captain cruised about all day in hopes to take them up
But no sign of the missing men for home we then bore on
Their dories in the gale capsized they sank to rise no more
Those twelve fine hardy fishermen belong to Gloucester 's shore

Female voice: What was the name of that one?




Text notes: The singer relates the story of the shipwreck of the Peerless and her crew from Gloucester.

Tune notes: A classic, arch-shaped abba melody, mixolydian mode (without the 6th degree of the scale. The tune is sung freely but within a basic metre of 4/4.

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