Let Me Fish Off Cape St Mary's (Gerald S Doyle)
score, tabs, MIDIs, videos

See also: Let Me Fish Off Cape St Mary's
(Ryan's Fancy)

sheet music

#2014: YouTube video by egrandy
℗2011 ~ Used with permission ~


Click Here for tabs (2 sets)

Take me back to my Western boat,
Let me fish off Cape St Mary's,
Where the hogdowns sail and the foghorns wail,
With my friends the Browns and the Clearys,
Let me fish off Cape St Mary's.

Let me feel my dory lift,
To the broad Atlantic combers,
Where the tide rips swirl and the wild ducks whirl,
Where Old Neptune calls the number,
'neath the broad Atlantic combers.

Let me sail up Golden Bay,
With my oilskins all a-streamin',
From the thunder squall when I hauled me trawl,
And my old Cape Ann a gleamin',
With my oilskins all a-streamin'.

Let me view that rugged shore,
Where the beach is all a-glisten,
With the caplin spawn where from dusk to dawn,
You bait your trawl and listen,
To the undertow a-hissin'.

When I reach that last big shoal,
Where the ground swells break asunder,
Where the wild sands roll to the surge's toll,
Let me be a man and take it,
When my dory fails to make it.

Take me back to that snug green cove,
Where the seas roll up their thunder,
There let me rest in the earth's cool breast,
Where the stars shine out their wonder,
And the seas roll up their thunder.

####.... Written in 1947 by Otto P Kelland [1904-2004] of Flatrock, NL (©Jocelyn Kelland) ....####
Published 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.39, 1955).

Also published on page 8 in 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 above were obtained.

The video above features a variant arranged and recorded by Stan Rogers (For the Family, 1982, Folk Tradition, ©Fogarty's Cove Music, Dundas, ON).

See more Stan Rogers songs.

A variant was also recorded by Gordon Bok [b.1939] as Western Boat (Bay Of Fundy ©1977, Folk-Legacy Records, FSI-54). Gordon Bok noted that Otto Kelland was the Warden of St John's Penitentiary when he wrote this song. Kelland eventually became superintendent of the penitentiary before retiring and, according to his obituary in the Folk Alliance, was a prolific author with several books, volumes of poetry, and many songs to his credit. He was also a builder of model ships and was considered a noted authority on sailing ships and other sea craft .

See more Gordon Bok songs.

A variant was recorded as Let Me Fish Off Cape St Mary's by Ryan's Fancy (Ryan's Fancy Live ©1975, Audat Records).

See more Ryan's Fancy songs.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Caplin - small, iridescent deep-water fish (Mallotus villosus) like a smelt which, followed by the cod, appears inshore during June and July to spawn along the beaches, and is netted for bait, for manuring the fields, or dried, salted, smoked, or frozen for eating.
Hogdown - greater shearwater (Puffinus gravis); sooty shear-water (P griseus); BAWK.
Trawl - buoyed line, of great length, to which short lines with baited hooks are attached at intervals.

From the American Meteorological Society Glossary:
Comber - a large wave that rolls over or breaks on a beach, reef, etc.

From Great Finds In Newfoundland and Labrador: Cape St Mary's is located on the Cape Shore Drive off Route 100 on the southwestern tip of Newfoundland's Avalon region, approximately two hours from St John's by road. It is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America. Bird Rock is the third largest nesting site and southernmost colony of Northern gannets in North America. Cape St Mary's is also the southernmost breeding area for thick-billed murres in the world and the southernmost major breeding site for common murres in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. This site is overflowing with perching, diving, and scrambling birds from edge to edge - melding together into an awesome moving, breathing spectacle of colour and sound.

The video below features a variant recorded by Phyllis Morrissey (All The Best: Folk Music Of St John's, Newfoundland, 1988, trk#12, Pigeon Inlet Productions, Torbay, NL, produced by Kelly Russell and recorded at Dadyeen Studios, St John's, NL).

#767: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
℗2009 ~ Used with permission ~

The video below features a variant recorded by Harry Hibbs (Somewhere At Sea, 1971 LP, trk#1, Arc Sound Ltd, Toronto, ON). In 2002 a digitally remastered CD was released by Unidisc Studios, Montreal by Robert Matichak).

See more Harry Hibbs songs.

#1362: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
℗2010 ~ Used with permission ~

Notes On Tabs:

All tabs visitors contribute
to GEST Songs Of NFLD
represent their interpretation.
GEST cannot verify the
accuracy of any tabs.

[G] Take me back to my Western boat,
Let me [G] fish off [Am] Cape St [D] Mary's
Where the [G] hogdowns [D] sail
and the [Em] foghorns [C] wail
With my [G] friends the [C] Browns
and the [G] Clearys.
[G] Let me fish off Cape St [D] Mary's.

Alternate Tabs

Capo 1

Take me [D] back to my [A] Western [Bm] boat,
Let me [D] fish off [E7] Cape St [A] Mary's [A7]
Where the [D] hogdowns [A] sail
and the [F#7] foghorns [Bm] wail
With my [D] friends the [G] Browns
and the [Bm] Clearys.
Let me [G] fish off [E7] Cape St [A] Mary's. [A7]


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