The Eighteenth Of April (John Fred Squires)
See also: Wabana You're A Corker (Mike Hibbs)

The eighteenth of April, being the date of the year,
We jumped in our small boats, for Bell Island did steer;
To land on the island we were all inclined,
Take our picks and our shovels, go to work in the mine.

It's for Bobby Chambers, he's the boss of the mine,
He planned out the trestle and then the main line;
He planned out the main line that runs east and west,
And everything ran in his mine for the best.

It's for Davey Fraser, he's boss on the pier,
And likewise young William is a chief engineer;
For doing up steamwork or anything wrong,
Stop a leak in a boiler, it won't take him long.

It's for Billy Nurse, he's a fine looking man,
Comes down in the pit with the book in his hand;
He'll ask you your number, he'll take down your time,
He will give you every hour that you work in the mine.

It's for Jabez Butler, he's working up west,
He takes all the new cars away from the rest;
He fills them with ore, he fills them up there,
Grips them on the main line, sends them out to the pier.

The cars from the east'ard they comes very slow,
The cars from the west'ard like hell they do go;
They're took from the donkey, oh isn't that fine,
Takes 'em out on the switch, and grips them to the main line.

It's for Billy Sutherland, he's a sturgy old block,
He has Charlie Carter by night on the rock;
And likewise young William looking after the ore,
And if you lets a car off he'll dump you for sure.

####.... Author unknown. Sung by John Fred Squires [b.1883] of Broad Cove, NL, to Peter Neary (c.1972-1973) ....####
The Wabana iron ore mine on Bell Island operated from 1895 to 1949. John Fred Squires said he thought this song pre-dated Wabana You're A Corker, which was written by his friend Mike Hibbs around 1910, the year he started working in the mine.


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