Squarin'-Up Time (Arthur R Scammell) score, video

sheet music

#682: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

Oh, the fish are all caught and the squids are all jigged,
The traps are caught up and the schooner's unrigged;
All hands on the counter are driving the smoke,
Where Jacob is splicing some left-handed rope.

Squarin'-up time beside the big shop,
The clerks are kept busy and write on the top.
"Look sharp now then sonny, attend to my needs,
A pack of those raisins without any seeds."

Skipper John Wilson strolled into the line,
If his credit was good for a few slips of twine;
He got such a fright when they gave him a ran,
That he bought a bologna for Aunt Mary Ann.

Uncle Nick Nicholas he squared up his bill,
He took up the ballast in Joe Rootan's pail;
Got a loan of a pipe from young Tommy Hayes,
He smoked till his whiskers went in a blue blaze.

When he found out his merchant had no Gillette Lye,
Which his woman had to ask Grandpa Maurice to buy,
The way that old codger took on was a sin;
Just at that moment the parson walked in.

All hands they were laughing at grandfather's prank,
Were quiet as mice when they saw Parson Bank;
And Billy O'Toole he was frightened so bad,
That he swallowed the last chew of 'baccy he had.

The parson said grandpa looked sheepish enough,
I guess I'll think you were cutting up rough;
And Billy O'Toole had the toothache all day,
And Big Eye was trying to charm it away.

There's five dollars coming to you Mr Knee,
I don't want it sir, that's no good to me;
Share it up between the parson and Dr Carrew,
Because I want to keep on the good side of them, too.

####.... Arthur R Scammell originally wrote this song as a poem in 1933. ....####
Published in Art Scammell's book, My Newfoundland, pp.118-119 (Harvest House, Montreal, 1966).

See more songs by Arthur R Scammell.

The video above features a variant recorded by Ed McCurdy, an American who moved to Canada in the early fifties and lived in Newfoundland around 1953. He is best known for producing one of the first LP albums with half of the tracks containing Newfoundland music (Ed McCurdy Sings Folk Songs Of The Canadian Maritimes, 1953, Whitehall LP-850).

A variant was collected in 1952 from Gerard Mahoney of Stock Cove, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.98-99, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this native ditty is an almost perfect re-creation of the atmosphere of a traditional outport general store. The fishing season is over, and all the men gather to square up their debts and accounts.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Ran also rand - certain length of twine; hank of string; hank of twine (for fish-nets, etc); also as a measure of net size.


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