MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
We'll Rant and We'll Roar
(The Ryans and the Pittmans)
Performed by Clare O'Driscoll Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 3 Track 4
Community: Tors Cove Audio:


We'll rant and we'll roar like true Newfoundlanders
We'll rant and we'll roar on deck and below
Until we see bottom inside the two sunkers
When straight through the channel to Toslow we'll go

I'm a son of a sea-cook and a cook in a trader
I can sing, I can dance, I can reef the main boom
I can handle a jigger and cuts a big figure
Whenever I gets in the boat's standing room

If the voyage is good then this fall I will do it
I want two pound ten for a ring and a priest
A couple of dollars for a clean shirt and collars
And a handful of coppers to make up a feast

There's plump little Polly her names is Goldsworthy
There's young Coady's Kitty and Mary Tibbo
There's Clara from Bruley and Young Martha Foley
But the nicest of all is my girl in Toslow

Farewell and adieu to ye fair ones of Allan
Farewell and adieu to ye girls in the cove
I'm bound to the Westward to the walls with the hold in
I'll take her from Toslow the wide world to roam

Farewell and adieu to ye girls of St. Kieran's
Of Paradise, Presque, Big and Little Bona
I'm bound unto Toslow to marry sweet Biddy
And if I don't do so I'm afraid of her dad

I've bought me a house from Catherine Davis
A twenty pound bed from Jimmy McGrath
I' ll get me a settle, a pot and a kettle
Then I'm ready for Biddy, for Biddy hurray

I bought in the 'In' the spring from the city
Some rings and gold brooches for the girls in the bay
I've bought me a case pipe they call it a 'Mershum'
It melted like butter upon a hot day

I went to a dance one night at Fox Harbour
There were plenty of girls so nice as you'd wish
There was one pretty maiden a-chawing on frankum
Just like a young kitten a-gnawing fresh fish

Then there is a health to the girls in Fox Harbour
Of Odieran and Presque Crab's hole and Bruley
Now let ye be jolly don't be melancholy
I can't marry all or on chokey I'd be

Spoken: Oh that's a good one.


Sources: Mercer 173 ;Doyle 1927: 29 and later editions; Greenleaf 1968: 266; ; West 1: 40; For recordings by CJON Glee Club, Gordon Pinsent, A.R. Scammell, St. John's Extension Choir, Terra Novans, Tom Jim and Garth, Dick Nolan, Omar Blondahl, Alan Mills, Joyce Sullivan, see Taft 89, 92, 97. Also recorded by Harry Hibbs, see The Very Best of Harry Hibbs , Vol 1, 1978, remastered, CBC, 2001; Roud 687.

History: Composed in the 1870s by Henry W. LeMessurier (1848-1931) who was a Customs official in St. John's (see Rosenberg in West 1: 56).   Based on the English shanty, "Spanish Ladies."

Text notes: Most place names are in the Burin district.

Tune notes:   A distinctive triple metre tune with no line repetition; it moves to the highest pitch in each line except the first and each line has an expansive range. This performance is slower and more deliberate than most contemporary performances.

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