Red Island (Frederick Lambe)

Attention all ye friends of mine,
and I will sing to you,
About destruction struck our homes,
not knowing what to do;
We moved away across the Bay,
the truth I'll tell to you,
And started up a way of life
we did not want to do.

Been late up in the sixties
when the word was spread around,
And what we worked for all our lives
was sure to be hove down;
But the government and clergymen
they finally got the plan,
To come up with some money
for to buy us off our land.

For years the men of Red Island
who faced those pleasant shores,
And fished out on the edge of ground
where their fathers fished before;
No more of the sound of their old ash oars
never more will row,
Or see them in their dories
with their caplin seine in tow.

They were happy and contented
with their working way of life,
And the old time songs they used to sing
you never heard the like;
With the old pot boiling on the stove,
and the lamps be burning bright,
And they all catch hands to sing a song,
with their feet just stamping right.

At Christmas time they'd drink her up,
with their keg of homebrew beer,
For years that was their way of life
till the time it did draw near;
Their friends you'll never meet no more,
or songs they used to sing,
They'd all catch hands to sing a song,
they'd make the rafters ring.

My childhood days still haunt me yet,
as thoughts ran in my mind,
When I go down to the Margaries Cove,
there, all my friends I'd find;
To see their boats out on the frape,
with their bowlines tight behind,
And their dories hauled upon the slip,
their homes are right 'longside.

When Joey got his scheme to work,
he thought it worked just fine,
But up along the western shore
there's people stayed behind;
There's people there in Monkstown,
and there's more in Southeast Bight,
And we'd all be on those islands yet,
if we had the guts to fight.

They stuck us here upon the beach,
with water all around,
Where you wants a bag of money
for to try to settle down;
I'd like to be on Castle Hill,
I'd make those cannons roar,
And I'd block her off outside the Gut
and sail in through no more.

My name I will not mention
in the finish of this song,
I know there's things that I said right
and very little wrong;
And tonight again before I sleep
there's one thing I will say,
God Bless our home, Red Island,
boys, back in Placentia Bay.

####.... Frederick Lambe, son of Peter Lambe and Anne Norman of Red Island ....####
From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Bowline - rope passing from the edge of sail to bow.
Caplin - small, iridescent deep-water fish (Mallotus villosus) like a smelt which, followed by the cod, appears inshore during June and July to spawn along the beaches, and is netted for bait, for manuring the fields, or dried, salted, smoked, or frozen for eating.
Frape - form of mooring with a pulley fixed in the end of an anchor buoy. A rope fitted into this pulley allows a means of pulling a boat to shore for embarking.

1Bay - Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.
2Joey - Joseph R Smallwood [1900-1991] of Gambo, NL, the first premier of Newfoundland (1949-1972).


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