Wabana You're A Corker (Collected by Neary)

Ye men that works down in this cave,
Your courage must be more than brave,
To work a mine beneath the wave;
Wabana you're a corker.

With your oil flash strapped up to your side,
And on your back a miner's pride,
And bold John Davis for your guide;
Wabana you're a corker.

Down in those dark and weary deeps,
Where the drills do hum and the rats do squeak,
Day after day, week after week;
Wabana you're a corker.

The boss will show you to your room,
With a lighted lamp will show a gloom,
And perhaps those walls will be your tomb;
Wabana you're a corker.

John Fred Squires, he repairs the drills,
When he gets them ready, he'll send them in,
If she don't work now she never will;
Wabana you're a corker.

The driller, he jacks up his bar,
Between the rib and a loaded car,
Where all those miss'd exploders are;
Wabana you're a corker.

Come now, boys, and look alive,
Another pair of slices drive,
And don't come up till half past five;
Wabana you're a corker.

When you comes up by the drain,
Who will you meet but that McLean,
Saying, "I will cut your time again."
Wabana you're a corker.

I asked old Alfred for my time,
I knowed he couldn't write a line,
And Lockey was down in the mine;
Wabana you're a corker.

All the women on Bell Isle,
They sleeps in bed till half past nine,
And light's their fire with the batcher's oil;
Wabana you're a corker.

All the women joins a club,
To feed their pigs on the batcher's grub.
They feeds them in a ten pound tub;
Wabana you're a corker.

With one hello and a simple knock,
Get up old cook, it's six o'clock,
The water wagon is around the block;
Wabana you're a corker.

If you're living on the Green,
Every morning you'll get beans,
And at supper time again it's beans;
Wabana you're a corker.

####.... Mike Hibbs of Portugal Cove, NL (c.1910). Sung by John Fred Squires [b.1883] of Broad Cove, NL, to Peter Neary (c.1972-1973) ....####
John Fred Squires told Peter Neary he started working at the Wabana iron ore mine in 1910, and that his friend Mike Hibbs wrote most of this song.

From William Coveduck's Families Of Newfoundland:
Wabana - from the Abnaki words wabunaki (eastland) and waban (the dawn) meaning 'morning land', or the place where the sun first rises - name Thomas Cantley of the New Glasgow company christened the Bell Isle mine site in 1895; used in reference to Dominion Wabana Ore Limited, a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley Canada Ltd.


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