Southern Cross (Genevieve Lehr/Anita Best)

See also: Southern Cross (Pamela Morgan)

And also: Wreck Of The Southern Cross

And also: What Happened To The Southern Cross?
(Gary Callahan)

sheet music

Gaily flags were proudly waving
at the hour she set for braving,
All the obstacles advancing
on that frozen field of ice;
And her crew no danger fearing,
proudly caught the strength of cheering,
On the morning of her sailing,
many hearts they did rejoice.

Our feelings we expressed them,
when we knew that God had left them,
When we heard that they were sighted,
deeply laden on the foam;
And our hearts were glad and cheery,
when told near old Cape St Mary's -
By the Portia she was sighted,
and she proudly sailing home.

Sadly now our hearts are mourning,
dreaming yet of her returning,
Many more with sorrow laden say
the ocean is her doom;
O ye waters merrily prancing,
with the sunshine on you dancing,
O swift us back a message,
just to lift this veil of gloom.

Where is she, you breezes,
won't you whisper grief or cheer us -
Come if you please and let us know
what has become of them,
Who left sisters and fond brothers,
tender-hearted wives and mothers;
O swift us back a message,
tell us what has become of them.

Tell us is she sank or stranded,
was she swallowed or abandoned -
Are the waves that rolled upon them
a forlorn and helpless wreck;
O ye breezes won't ye tell us
where are the noble fellows,
We cheered the day they left us,
crowding joyously on her deck.

Many hearts are sorrow laden,
there's the matron and the maiden,
And the darling orphan children
may God hear their helpless cry -
O look down on them each morrow,
give them strength to bear their sorrow,
It is you, dear Lord, can do it
from your mansion in the sky.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####
Collected in 1976 from Mrs Caroline (Carrie) Brennan [1892-1994] of Ship Cove, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #101 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.175-176, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003). Used here by GEST with Genevieve Lehr's explicit written permission.

Genevieve Lehr noted that the Southern Cross was lost in the spring of 1914, on her return to St John's from the ice. She was full laden with seal pelts and was last sighted by the Portia. Between 170 and 173 lives were lost with no trace ever found of the ship or crew. The crew of the Newfoundland was lost on the ice in the same storm, leaving about 252 dead in one month.

See more Lehr and Best songs.

From Wikipedia:
The vessel was originally commissioned as the whaler Pollux at Arendal, NO, in 1886. Under the explorer Carstens Borchgrevink on December 19, 1898 Pollux made its first Antarctic expedition where it made marine history by breaking through the Great Ice Barrier to the unexplored Ross Sea. Pollux was sold to Baine Johnston and renamed Southern Cross upon transferring to Newfoundland in 1901. Southern Cross participated in every seal hunt from 1901 to 1914.

A similar variant was recorded as Southern Cross by Pamela Morgan (Songs, Stories And Tunes From Newfoundland & Labrador, trk#4, 1983) and (Favourite Newfoundland Folk Music, trk#11, 1986) both produced by Kelly Russell for Pigeon Inlet Productions, St John's, NL.

See songs by Pamela Morgan.

See more songs about NL shipwrecks.


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