A Cramped Song (Simani) video
#1935: YouTube video by outportoutlaw ©2011
~ Used with permission ~

It's a mauzy old day out in Port aux Basque Harbour,
Whiles the ferry's on hand a-crossin' the strait;
All I got is me gurt book of Newfoundland words,
To help the mainlander interpret our prate.

You, pretty dear, now, you looks kinda green,
Have an eye to your quiff, sir, she's gone on a squish;
That's the first goin' off, sir, not used to the lops,
What your belly keg needs is a bit of corned fish.

There's nar 'nother place, sir, you can say what you like,
'Tis handy, about the best you can find, me old trout;
Oh, we got our rag-molls and a scattered hard ticket,
And sometimes our mouth speech is hard to make out.

You take the book, sir, it might come in handy,
Got thousands of pages right chock full of stuff;
There's a lot of cramp words there, and some of 'em's queer,
Not one pick at all like they talks 'cross the gulf.

'Tis your own blind look out, sir, just you're for a fortnight,
But least ways, we'll show you some fine goin's on;
Lay hold for a scattered big time and a scoff,
And we won't cry crack till we gets to St John's.

There's nar 'nother crowd, sir, at least cardin' to,
Real king hands and charmers for reevin' about;
But if you'm leery and wants to turn in,
There's no worries here about a place to keel out.

There's skipper George, down there in his dory,
He's heavin' up tom cods on the stage with a pew;
The first thing he'd ask if you walked o'er his drashel,
Is, come on in, skipper, where you longs be to.

Where's Aunt Bess, Uncle George?
Oh, she's up on the chop block;
She's callin' her sheep now, here, Nanny, come, Nan,
S'no, dere she comes now with some chips in her apron.

Gonna warm up the toutons she got in the pan,
There's nar crowd around, sir, that calls after we;
Rigged out in our slipshods or off in our vamps,
Could be arse over kettles down there 'mong the toddies.
Are you and your doxy out having a rampse?

Yes, sometimes our mouth speech is hard to make out.

####.... Bud Davidge of Simani ....####
Recorded by Simani (Outport People, trk#6, 1986 CD, SWC Productions, English Harnour West, NL).

See more songs by Simani.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Arse over kettles - head over heels.
Blind look-out - poor situation.
Cardin' - according; in proportion.
Charmer - persons, often male, able to cure ailments by apparently supernatural or sometimes para-medical means.
Cramp - of a person, difficult to understand, amusing, because of clever or humorous speech.
Cry crack - to give up an action; to cease.
Drashel -threshold.
Hard ticket - intractable person; hard case.
Keel out - lie down; go to bed.
King hand - surprising or unusual person.
Leery (leary) - hungry; weak with hunger; sinking with hunger and exhaustion; feeling of a traveller in need of refreshment.
Lops - rough surface of the sea (or a pond) caused by a stiff wind and marked by a quick succession of short breaking waves.
Mauzy - of the weather, damp, foggy, misty or close, sometimes with very light rain or condensation on objects and a cool, gentle wind off the sea.
Me old trout - familiar form of address; term to denote friendliness.
Pew - long stick with a sharp prong or tine affixed to the end, used in moving fish from boat to fishing-stage.
Pick - bit, peck, jot; slightest piece; small amount.
Quiff - Man's soft felt hat with brim; fedora.
Rag-moll - ragged beggar; woman all in tatters; slovenly, untidy person.
Rampse (rampsy) - fight playfully and noisily; to skylark.
Reeving - wandering about.
Scattered - located here and there; few and far between; occasional; infrequent
Scoff - cooked meal at sea or ashore, especially at night and often part of an impromptu party; such a repast prepared with 'bucked' or stolen ingredients.
Squish (asquish) - askew; out of alignment; in desperate straits.
Stage - elevated platform on the shore with working tables, sheds, etc, where fish are landed and processed for salting and drying, and fishing gear and supplies are stored.
Toddies (tod) - small number of dried and salted cod piled on a fish-flake or platform, built on poles and spread with boughs for drying codfish on the foreshore.
Tom Cod - small immature codfish (Gadus morhua).
Touton (toutin) - piece of bread dough fried in fat; damper dog.
Vamp - short, thick woollen oversock, worn in boots to prevent chafing or around the house as a slipper.

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Prate - speech, babble, talk, chatter, jabber, patter.
Slipshods - shoes worn down at the heal; loose shoes or slippers.

From Wiktionary:
Doxy - (archaic) sweetheart, paramour, mistress.

Bud Davidge informed GEST:
You'm - along the south coast of Newfoundland, around Push Through, the people invented their own abbreviations of the verb to be, and they extrapolated the contraction I'm and created we'm, they'm, you'm, he'm and she'm.
Gurt - great or big.


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