Storm Of 45 (Joe West)

The northern tip of Newfoundland as far as you can see,
Is solid rock and water, and a stand of small green trees;
Nestled in the harbour a town you'll always find,
And one place in particular always comes to mind.

Now sit back in the easy chair and I'll tell a tale that's true,
About a man from St Anthony and the cold north wind that blew;
There's many a gale that's blown across the Straits of old Belle Isle,
Drifting snow and forty below and every inch a mile.

It seems that back in forty-five, second month as I recall,
A miracle would happen, and it started as a squall;
When it snows in Newfoundland it's a mighty pretty sight,
But this storm was different, it was snowing left to right.

The wind was blowing from the Strait and going at such a pace,
Your hand would disappear if you took it from your face;
Now George had been to Raleigh, his dog team pulled him there,
To visit with his sister, some memories he might share.

His sister pleaded, stay the night, as the raging storm blew wild,
She feared for her brother's life, please stay a little while;
But George said, I've got to go, something beckons from within,
Don't worry, I'll be careful, wiping teardrops from her chin.

George was just a young man at the age of twenty-five,
His childhood days were really tough, he'd learned how to survive;
He shut the door behind him and harnessed up the team,
The dogs were howling in the wind as George let out a scream.

They headed down the buried trail as if they knew the way,
You could sense they felt secure, with George they wouldn't stray;
With two ways to St Anthony, the longer one he chose,
Was it instinct or the spirit, for now, God only knows.

Leaning forward on his sled, the dogs he's trying to see,
The wind and snow the team had stopped, this was strange indeed;
He felt along the komatik to find out what was wrong,
He found a woman in the snow half buried by the storm.

He asked her what her name was, she was too cold to reply,
He placed her in the komatik and told his team to fly;
They arrived at the Grenfell in St Anthony by the sea,
Prayers had been answered, "Save her life," his only plea.

He went to see her every day, at her bedside he would stand,
She'd lost her frozen feet and the fingers from her hand;
A ship arrived in the spring, The Kyle penned on her bow,
And took her on life's journey, they would meet again somehow.

Thirty-nine years had passed, and George had thought she died,
He answered the door in '84 and there she stood alive;
Now getting back to the spirit that guided him that day,
You might think it was by chance or instinct, as they say.

Consider this a miracle done in God's own course,
To save a soul to serve Him, and she did from that day forth;
Her name is Gladys Edmonds, she served in the Sally Ann,
Thank you, George, for saving her, she's a part of the Master's plan.

####.... Joe West ©2005. Performing rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####
Recorded by Joe West (Banks Of Newfoundland, trk#2, 2005).

See more songs by Joe West.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Komatic - long sled, adopted in northern Newfoundland and especially Labrador for winter travel and hauled by dogs or sometimes men; sledge for hauling wood; Eskimo sled; Also comatik, comatick, commeteck, kamutik, kometik, etc.; Labrador Inuit qamutik 'sled'.

From Wikipedia:
Sally Ann - The Salvation Army works in 118 countries. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Sally Ann in Canada and the Sally Army in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. In Australia, the full name is rarely used, with the slang abbreviation The Salvos displayed even on their shop fronts.

For more information about Grenfell see the Sharecroppers' ballad Grenfell.


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