Baccalieu Island (Lar Hatch, Sr)

As Larry Hatch sat in his old rocking chair,
This story he told us one evening:
Of the real good old days and those old fishing ways,
And he scarcely looked at the ceiling.
Me laddies, said he, I loved the salt sea,
In the days when the trawls I was haulin';
This life on the sea was heaven to me,
When I fished around Baccalieu Island.

We had the Quinlans, the Hydes, the Hatches and Rices,
The Kehoes and Hogans, I remember;
We all got our share when the fish they were there,
And we finished our voyage in November.
The women were there with combs in their hair,
And they kept all the family smilin`;
In the morning the smoke would sure make you choke,
When we fished around Baccalieu Island.

O, God bless the days and the old-fashioned ways,
When the people were so kind and hearty;
And most every night it sure was a sight,
To go to Grate's Cove to a party.
Then came the spring and the robins did sing,
Our traps and our trawls we were coilin';
With a good southwest breeze we sailed o'er the seas,
To fish around Baccalieu Island.

As Larry rocks in his old rocking chair,
His memory related the story;
So he cleared up his throat and he spoke of the Cove,
With its history of fame and great glory.
And that old tar pot, it sure smelled a lot,
Whenever it came to a boilin';
But I tell you, my friend, I would do it again,
Fish out around Baccalieu Island

In the days long gone by we had sorrow and joy,
And our sea boots were all made of leather;
It sure is no bluff our boats were real tough,
And could stand up in big, stormy weather.
The women, you know, wore all calico,
Their dresses were long, but still stylin';
No one ever did see a fair lady's knee,
When we fished around Baccalieu Island.

The women worked hard with the gardens and flakes,
And also helped out in the stages;
What a story is told of those fair ladies bold,
It would take up a good many pages.
They were there from the start and sure did their part,
Climbing the cliffs without failin';
They wore button shoes and cooked fish 'n' brewis,
While the men fished 'round Baccalieu Island.

Gone are the days and the old fishing ways,
Which will live both in song and in glory;
Of the time now gone by with its sorrow and joy,
Surrounded by history and glory.
The Island today still lies in the bay,
But no more are the fishing boats toilin';
May the heaven above send down its love,
Around old Baccalieu Island.

####.... Lar Hatch, Sr of Bay de Verde, NL ....####

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Brewis - sea-biscuit or 'hard tack' soaked in water and then boiled; such a dish cooked with salt cod and fat pork.
Flake - platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore.
Stage - elevated platform on the shore with working tables, sheds, etc, where fish are landed and processed for salting and drying, and fishing gear and supplies are stored; fishing stage.


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