Jim McCarthy (Peter Leonard)

Attention all ye seamen,
come listen to my tale,
Until I will relate to you
of a cruel November gale,
Which did burst forth the seventeenth,
as ye may understand,
And the like was never seen before
on the coast of Newfoundland.

So now, my boys, I'll do my best,
the truth I will relate,
Concerning the schooner Annie,
that left St John's the eighth,
With a full cargo of supplies
bound to Placentia Bay,
And the wind blew forth most furiously,
mountainous ran the sea.

Fermeuse was the last port she left
quite early in the morn,
With the wind off from the northwest
the day before the storm;
And early the next evening
they were in Trepassey Bay,
The wind blew forth most furiously,
mountainous ran the sea.

They tried with all their endeavours
Trepassey for to gain,
The wind and sea it rose so strong
their objects proved in vain;
It was under a two reef foresail
they had to bear away,
About six o'clock they anchored
in Aquaforte Bay.

They signalled a steamer,
the Sandlark was her name,
She came to their assistance
but did not prove in vain;
For they made fast their hawser
like brave and noble men,
To their surprise it parted
and they were adrift again.

Three times they tried to take them
but the wind blew with much force,
It was there they had to leave them
and steam back to Aquaforte;
They left that little schooner
with the angry waves to fight,
And those poor boys they'll never forget
the terror of that night.

The night being gone the day came on more,
heavier ran the sea,
They knelt down on the open deck,
most fervently did pray,
Unto the Blessed Virgin,
God's mercy to implore,
They never thought that they would see
their friends again on shore.

About ten o'clock on Monday
there shipped an awful sea,
The skipper and the dory
they both got washed away;
He being a noble swimmer
and his courage did not fail,
Soon was a rope thrown from the boat
and pulled him o'er the rail.

Friday and Saturday
the wind it did decrease,
They shaped her forward to the land
according to the breeze;
On Saturday night it rose again
followed by heavy rain,
On Sunday it veered from the northwest
and drove them back again.

About two o'clock on Monday
a whistle they did hear,
I know they were delighted
when they found it was drawing near;
They sighted her, they signalled her,
and then she did bear down,
It proved to be the Monarch,
for London she was bound.

The commander of the Monarch,
had everything at hand,
He made fast a steel cable
to tow them to the land;
Their little boat proved leaky
and her crew was weak and tired,
They then agreed to leave her
and set the hull on fire.

When they got on board the Monarch
their grief soon came to joy,
I know they were delighted
when the Cabot they did spy;
For she'd been out in search of them
and they so near at hand,
They took them from the Monarch
and brought them safe to land.

It is for Captain Blackmore
his praises we prove well,
He took them from that frail craft,
he did it with great skill;
For He had fed five thousand
with five loaves and fishes, too,
He hauled around to help to save
that poor unraging crew.

So now they're safely landed
and in good health again,
Here's to Jim McCarthy
and his two brave hardy crew:
There's Bill Rodgers and Jer Whelan,
they are known to us all,
Like hardy sons of Newfoundland
can answer every call.

Now to conclude and finish here,
I mean to end my song,
I hope ye will excuse me
for delaying ye so long;
My education is but small
and grammar I don't use,
Among educated people
my ignorance must be excused.

####.... Peter Leonard of Little Harbour, NL ....####
Red Island schooner Annie lost Nov 17, 1915

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