Jim Harris (The Punters) video
#607: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

'Twas in the year of thirty-four,
on the last daylight in May,
Jim Harris in the Ronald P
from St Kieran's sailed away;
He sailed away in search of bait
till he came to Paradise Sound,
Where, to his great and sad mistake,
the Irene he ran down.

As she lay to her anchor,
all hands was filled with joy,
Not thinking any accident
to them was drawing nigh;
Until the Ronald hove in sight
more joyful did they feel,
With flowing yards and swelling sails,
taking eight knots from the reel.

She was like some frightened animal
with the white foam across her face,
Neither sheet nor tack now did she slack
while entering in this place;
Those boats they were well scattered,
and for her there was plenty of room,
But she passed too near to the Irene's head
and she broke off her jib boom.

Which pierced the Ronald's mainsail
about three cloths from the lee,
The mainsail left the mainmast,
was an awful sight to see;
Those boys they were well frightened,
what to do they did not know,
So, without their skipper's orders,
their anchor they let go.

Jim Harris jumped upon the deck,
fired down his cap and swore,
Saying, such a tangle now as this
I never saw before;
I've been charge of vessels large and small
and I brought them far and near,
Far across the broad Atlantic
where the storms do rage severe.

Now, if this was some youngster,
what would the people say,
For an accident can happen
to the best man any day;
It's alright when the wheel is going up,
but when she turns for to go down,
You all might meet with the same sad fate
as Jim Harris from Paradise Sound.

####.... Peter Leonard [1890-1964] of Placentia Bay, NL. Performance rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####
This variant was recorded by The Punters (Said She Couldn't Dance, 1998).

See more songs by The Punters.

A variant was collected in 1978 from Pius Power, Jr [1944-1996] of South East Bight, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #60 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.106-107, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this song by Peter Leonard [1890-1964] of Placentia Bay, NL, concerns an unfortunate mishap in which the famous Captain James Harris was involved. Pius Power told her the song was at one time a household item - as common as saying grace!


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