The Trip (Joe West)

I checked into the office
and what an awful mess,
I need to get away from here
and take a two week rest;
I packed my bags and said goodbye,
my ticket's in my hand,
I was headed for a distant place,
they call it Newfoundland.

I headed east on the 401,
got lost in Montreal,
Made it through the tunnel
and stopped at a shopping mall;
Not everyone in life will know
what I went through,
I used my hands, I used my feet,
and wiggled my ears some, too.

Do you think anyone understood
the plight of this old man?
I only wanted directions
to good old Newfoundland;
I saw a truck with Scotia plates
and followed in hot pursuit,
I stayed with him for twenty miles,
till he stopped for a cup of soup.

I asked him where you going?
He said I'm Alberta bound,
If your headed for Newfoundland,
you better turn your car around;
He gave me a map and marked it out,
I thanked him with a smile,
And headed east on 20
for old Cape Breton isle.

Things were looking better
as the Causeway came in sight,
I knew I'd reach North Sydney
before the evening light;
As I approached the harbour,
there were signs to point the way,
That led me to the boat
that would carry me away.

When I saw the ferry
it stood tall and mighty proud,
The flags were snapping in the breeze
and the sky was full of cloud;
I asked the guy at the counter,
how long to get across?
This one takes six hours,
of course, it might get lost.

He saw that I was turning green
as I took a sip of Coke,
He smiled as he passed the ticket
and said, "That's just a little joke."
I finally got aboard
and was driving 'round and 'round,
Until someone said, "Put her there,
and then we'll chain her down."

I asked him why they did that
and he said it's the only way,
Sometimes the seas get rough,
and your car might go astray;
I finally made it to the lounge
and grabbed the nearest book,
The guy sitting next to me said,
I'm from "Karnerbrook."

The ferry shuddered as he said,
"Nuddin' to wary 'bout, me son,
We'll be in "Part a Basque
before the marnin' sun."
I've done a lot of things before,
but this one takes the cake,
When we hit the open sea,
the boat began to shake.

I headed for the galley
when the cook had made his call,
It took some kind of doing,
I kept running into walls;
When I made it to the cash,
I knew I'd never be able,
To get my meal from where I was
and set it on the table.

The steward smiled, and took my tray,
and said I'll help you if you please,
I said I'll try to meet you there
and crawled over on my knees;
As I sat staring at my food,
things going 'round and 'round,
I'm sure that I'd feel better
if I could get some coffee down.

I chased my cup of coffee,
it was going everywhere,
I opened a pack of sugar
and poured it in my chair;
I finally got my coffee stopped
and much to my surprise,
When I went to hit my mouth,
I got it in my eyes.

Spaghetti was the main course,
I had it in my hair,
In my pockets, on my shoes,
and in my underwear;
I finally finished eating,
as the boat it heaved and shook,
And coming down the hall
was my friend from "Karnerbrook".

I was married to the railing,
as the boat begin to lean,
He said you must not feel so good
your face is turning green;
He grabbed me by the shoulder,
picked spaghetti from my hair,
And took me to the top deck
to get a breath of air.

I thought he was an angel,
as he opened wide that door,
I tripped upon the threshold,
fell flat out on the floor;
He picked me up and stood me
on my "shaky knobby knees",
And said to take a deep breath
of the "good old salty sea."

I inhaled once, I inhaled twice,
and was about to do one more,
When a wall of water hit my face
and knocked me to the floor;
I asked, "In your opinion
do you think the waves are high?"
"No sir, not in Newfoundland
unless they touch the sky."

He asked me if my courage was up,
as he picked me off the floor,
I said it as if I swallowed it,
that and much much more;
I finally heard the good news,
Port au Basque is dead ahead,
We should dock in 20,
that's what the steward said.

You could feel the engine slowing down,
the ship begin to glide,
We were just inside the harbour,
it felt good to be alive;
The man on the speaker said,
the trip had gone real well,
I shook my head, oh sure,
their selling ice cubes down in hell.

I felt the boat as it nudged the dock,
once again I felt secure,
Those cowboys roped those big old posts,
I couldn't ask for more;
I wobbled down two flights of stairs
to my car I'd left below,
The chains were disconnected,
and the man said I could go.

I drove the ramp to freedom,
my tires on solid rock,
I think I'll park the car right here
and take a little walk;
I hadn't planned on anything,
no schedule in my hand,
Just two weeks of heaven
in good old Newfoundland.

I can't begin to tell you,
and words could not describe,
The awesome beauty of this land,
it felt good to be alive;
I travelled up the western coast
and passed through "Karnerbrook",
Headed up the Viking Trail
to take a better look.

The rugged coast, Grosmourne Park,
it's mountains touch the sky,
A visit here you'll surely know,
that life's not nine to five;
The Bonne Bay hills and Port au Choix
will always come to mind,
And the little town, St Anthony,
where the people are so kind.

I met a man called Seaweed Joe
who'd set a lot of sail,
A fisherman from the coast,
and known to tell a tale;
I'll remember Newfoundland
and the people I met there,
No one is a stranger and what
they have is yours to share.

I'm back here in Toronto,
and it's still an awful mess,
You're wondering how I got here,
I'll bet you'll never guess;
I thought about that crossing,
a sailor I'd never make,
The car was getting old,
and I didn't like the make.

I drove it up to Seaweed Joe's,
and bargained for a while,
Sealed it with a handshake
and a good old Newfie smile;
It was just enough to buy me
a ticket to old T-O,
A taxi down the 4-0-1
and to my crowded home.

Now if I ever get the chance,
I'll be off to Newfoundland,
Leave behind this city life
for one that's far more grand;
Where people still are people,
their hearts are full of love,
And welcome you with open arms
and no one stands above.

Newfoundland so beautiful,
beauty by the sea,
For now I'll hold you in my heart
and in my memory;
The sands of time cannot erase
what I have seen in you,
I'll dream a dream of living there
until my dream comes true.

####.... Joe West. Performance rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####

Recorded by Joe West (Banks Of Newfoundland, trk#8, ©2005).


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