I'se The B'y That Builds The Boat (Gordon Bok)

See also: I'm The B'y (Rankin Street Tape Pre-GBS)

And also: I'se The B'y (Gerald Doyle)

And also: I's The B'y That Builds The Boat
(Kenneth Peacock)

And also: I'se Da B'y (Shanneyganock)

And also: I's The B'y (Great Big Sea)

And also: I'se Da B'y (Dick Nolan Disco Variant)

I'se the b'y that builds the boat,
I'se the b'y that sails her;
I'se the b'y that catches the fish,
And brings them home to Lizer.

Cods and rinds to cover your flake,
Cake and tea for supper;
Codfish in the spring of the year,
Fried in maggoty butter.

I'se the b'y that builds the boat,
I'se the b'y that sails her;
I'se the b'y that catches the fish,
And brings them home to Lizer.

Hip your partner Sally Tibbo,
Hip your partner Sally Brown;
Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton's Harbour,
All around the circle.

I don't want your maggoty fish,
That's no good for winter;
I can buy as good as that,
Down in Bonavista.

I took Lizer to a dance,
As fast as she would travel;
And every step that she did take,
Was up to her knees in gravel.

Susan White, she's out of site,
Her petticoat wants a border;
Old Sam Oliver, in the dark,
He kissed her in the corner.

I'se the b'y that builds the boat,
I'se the b'y that sails her;
I'se the b'y that catches the fish,
And brings them home to Lizer.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####
This is one of many variants based on a song collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1951 from P Lloyd Soper [1920-2009] and Robert F (Bob) MacLeod [1908-1981] of St John's, NL, as I's The B'y That Builds The Boat and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, p.64, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

This variant arranged and recorded by Gordon Bok (North Wind's Clearing: Songs Of The Maine Coast, 1995).

See more songs by Gordon Bok.

Another variant was published as I'se The B'y in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (3rd Ed, p.30, 1955). It was also published on page 22 of Songs Of Newfoundland, a complimentary booklet of lyrics to twenty-one songs distributed by the Bennett Brewing Co Ltd, of St John's, NL, with the cooperation of the Gerald S Doyle Song Book from which the words were obtained.

A variant was arranged and recorded as I's The B'y by Great Big Sea (Great Big Sea, 1993).

A variant was also recorded Pre-GBS as I'm The B'y (Rankin Street Tape - Live At The Blarneystone, 1991).

See more Great Big Sea songs.

Ryan's Fancy was recorded live performing I'se The Bye at The Black Knight Lounge in Halifax, NS, by Jack Hutchinson and George Taylor (An Irish Night At The Black Knight Lounge, trk#1, 1971, Marathon Music Incorporated, Scarborough, ON). That same variant was also independently-produced as a studio recording by Ryan's Fancy (Times To Remember, trk#1, 1973, Audat Records, Oshawa, ON).

See more Ryan's Fancy songs.

Dick Nolan arranged a disco variant in 1980 as I'se Da B'y (Dick Nolan's Greatest Hits Of Newfoundland, trk# A1, 1980 LP, Starpak SK-134).

See more songs by Dick Nolan.

Another variant was recorded by Shanneyganock as I'se Da B'y (Scallywags, 2002).

See more Shanneyganock.

From the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada we are told that although the song may have originated in the 1870s, probably in a Newfoundland fishing village, interest in I's The B'y did not spread outside Newfoundland until after the song was heard and transcribed by two researchers interested in Newfoundland's folk traditions, Kenneth Peacock and Gerald S Doyle. Its melody and lyrics were transmitted throughout Canada in the songbook Folk Songs of Canada by Edith Fowke and Richard Johnston (1954), relying on Peacock's transcription. Teachers and students outside Newfoundland were eager to learn about the music of the newest province, which had joined Canada a mere five years earlier, and I's the B'y quickly became a favourite of classrooms and choirs across the country.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Flake - platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore.


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