The Newfoundland Disaster (Kenneth Peacock)

See also: The Newfoundland Disaster
(George Humbey)

And also: Death On The Ice - The Story
(Everett Adams)

And also: The Newfoundland Sealing Disaster
(Marion Parsons)

And also: I Will Bring You Home (Marion Parsons)

And also: Newfoundland Sealers (Bill Gallaher)

And also: Death On The Ice (Margo St John)

sheet music

We often read of heroes bold,
and noble deeds they done,
Some on the field of battle,
Victoria Crosses won;
The British lads and officers
who walked the quarterdeck,
Oft' la'nched a lifeboat in a storm
to take men from a wreck.

The hero that we speak about,
his praises for to tell,
Is plucky Captain Randall,
commander of the Bill;
Who put his ship about that day,
to rescue he did go,
And saved the lives of twenty-five
out on the northern floe.

For two long days and dreary nights
these poor lads had to stand,
Caught in a blinding snow-storm,
the crew of the Newfoundland;
Fatigued with hunger, thirst and cold,
and no relief in sight,
When seventy-seven brave lads succumbed
upon the ice that night.

On Thursday morn, with tottering steps,
the few that did remain,
Made for the Bill as best they could,
the ship did try to gain;
And Captain Randall from the bridge
these poor lads he did sight,
Who told their sad and dismal tale
how for their lives did fight.

The captain then gave up the voyage
for St John's he did steer,
To bring the dead and the dying
to the ones they loved most dear;
The kindness they received on board
no human tongue could tell,
Of these kind-hearted sailors
and the captain of the Bill.

In after-years his name will live
and hang on memory's wall,
To show their children's children
the heroes of them all;
And his kind-hearted sailors
their great and daring band,
Who saved the sole survivors
of the steamship Newfoundland.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from Joshua Osbourne [c1903-?] of Seal Cove, White Bay, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.967-968, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the events described in this native ballad took place in 1914.

From other songs about ships in the spring seal hunt, GEST has concluded the Bill was actually the Bellaventure, nicknamed the Belle. Also note the spelling of Joshua Osbourne which Kenneth Peacock spelled without the 'u'.


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GEST Songs Of
Newfoundland And Labrador


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