The Antis Of Plate Cove (Fergus O'Byrne) video
#585: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
℗2009 ~ Used with permission ~

Come all ye good people and listen
To what I have come here to say;
It's concerning a band of vile traitors
That live at the head of our bay.
Their names for some time I'll not mention,
I'll apprehend them by and by;
Their leader he was a blind piper,
By the parson's gamecock lost an eye.

The day that the poll booth was opened,
The "Antis" and "Cons" they were there;
The flag of cursed Confederation
Was gallantly marched to the rear.
Keough struck Newell, the bearer,
And he trampled the 'rag' to the ground;
Mavourneen he struck Neddy Humby,
And frightened the Abbots and Brown.

Then out came that chap of the Brennan's,
A son to the leader in strife;
He took an oak stave in the morning,
And he swore he would have "Antis" life.
He was soon perceived by those heroes,
Descendants of old Granu-Aile,
Who tumbled him into a mud pool
And followed clan Brennan's on trail.

Then next was the great Patagonian,
Both matchless in manner and size;
He first talked in favour of "Antis",
Then joined the confederate side.
The gang got a full tub of "soldiers"
And pelted him down to his door;
His mother did not recognize him
Till she washed him a dozen times o'er!

Oh, boys, if you saw the fair Jenny
I'm sure you would pity her case;
And if she was handy to Ridley
He might sympathize with her grace.
Poor thing, she is half broken-hearted
Since the "Antis" have now gained their day;
Short shoes and long corns may attend her,
Is the wish of all Bonavist' Bay.

And now to conclude and to finish,
I hope a good lesson we've taught;
And the touters sent here from the city,
Have been told that Plate Cove can't be bought;
Our fathers came here to find freedom,
Their sons will not trade it away;
Then hurrah! for the "Antis" of Plate Cove,
The "Fortress of Bonavist' Bay"!

####.... Mark Walker [1846-1924] of Tickle Cove, Bonavista Bay, NL, 1869 ....####

See more Mark Walker songs.

This variant published on pp.44-45 of Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, 2nd Ed, 1940, printed by the publishers of The Family Fireside for Gerald S Doyle, St John's.

Gerald Doyle noted that "this song is an echo of the 1869 election and many of our older readers will remember that exciting time. The contesting parties, the Confederates and Anti-Confederates became known as the Cons and the Antis. Plate Cove is in Bonavista Bay and the incidents mentioned in these verses caused quite a lot of excitement in that section."

From the Free Dictionary:
Touters - individuals who solicit customers, voters, etc, brazenly or persistently.

The video above features a variant recorded by Fergus O'Byrne (We Will Remain: Patriotic Songs Of Newfoundland, 1998 CD, trk#5, Singsong, Landwash).

See more Fergus O'Byrne songs.

See more Patriotic & War songs.


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