MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
McDonald of Salmonier
Gerald Aylward NFLD 1 Tape 5 Track 4
Cape Broyle Audio:
Newfoundland Ballad / shipwreck

Come all you gallant seamen bold come listen unto me
I'll tell you of the dangers great that you may meet at sea
Concerning a bold seaman I mean to let you hear
It's Captain Mike McDonald belong to Salmonier

They left their homes in Salmonier on April the twenty-sixth
When coming down Trepassey Bay the fog it came in thick
They met a land Freshwater Point just at the break of day
McDonald said unto his men, "We'll put her head to sea."

They runned her for the shore that night for three long hours or more
McDonald said, "Now let her come I think she'll clear the shore."
But to their sad misfortune just at the break of day
Their schooner struck at Johnson's Point up in Trepassey Bay

McDonald said unto his men, "Our schooner now is done
For soon she will be broken up by the heavy seas that run."
One of her spars fell on the cliff as loud the seas did roar
Which formed a bridge and two of them got safely on the shore

McDonald like all true seamen he was the last to leave
He stood there on the deck of her 'til he saw his crew were safe
Alas he waited all too long himself he could not save
When the seas soon washed him overboard and buried him in the waves

No pen can write no tongue can tell the feeling of those boys
To see their loving father and he drowning before their eyes
They could not lend a helping hand their father for to save
And soon poor Mike McDonald was buried in the waves

Heartbroken then they turned away from that sad spot that day
And up the cliff unto the group they quickly made their way
Arriving there both wet and tired and hungry too as well
With heavy hearts and tearful eyes their sad tale for to tell

No praise now could be too great for those few men that day
Unto the scene of disaster they quickly made their way
They searched both late and early too success their efforts crowned
And the third day on the afternoon his body it was found

They brought him home unto the group and that without delay
They fixed him up and laid him out all on that very same day
Some people then from poor Eagle Cove a coffin did prepare
And had him sent back to his home and friends in Salmonier

Now he is gone and laid to rest his name will honour be
He was as good a seaman as ever plowed the seas
Like a true man he lived and died at the end of doomsday's call
May the Lord have mercy on his soul that is the wish of all

Female voice (speaks): Very good.



History: A Newfoundland composition. The first settlers at Penny's Point in Salmonier were McDonalds in 1850. The exact identity of the individual named in this song is not yet established.

Text notes: The singer describes the death of the ship's captain during a storm.

Tune notes: A major key melody in triple metre; abba form.

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