The Golden Hind (MacEdward Leach)

It was by that cold November wind,
Our loved one sailed away,
Far, far from home and friends he loved,
To a distant port Bahia.

The day was fine and seas were smooth
When he bid his friends good-bye,
And quickly glided over the sea
In the good ship Golden Hind.

They reached that port and soon declared,
While friends at home did roam,
Expecting them a cargo from
Barbados to bring home.

Days and weeks passed by,
No tidings came anxiety to renew,
At last they're surely doomed,
The fact's that the ship is overdue.

North winds prevailed and blinding snow
That beat them in the face,
At last glad sight to those on board,
They're sighted of Cape Race.

Now Jim spoke of going to Bay Bulls
As they drew nearer the land,
And the watchful eye already knew
That the storm was near at hand.

Our Captain tried to end the voyage
To get to St John's town,
When suddenly the storm arose
And the ship she soon hove down.

With blinding snow and bitter sleet
Which beat them in the face,
They were driven from the motion head
To the southward of Cape Race.

At last fine weather came too late,
The ship sailed down the shore,
No flag was flying to the main
As on each voyage before.

Our friends on shore forgot the flag,
Our ship she did pass down,
Expecting to hear from their loved ones dear
When they arrived in town.

The news is come, alas what news,
It bends down every head,
The Golden Hind arrived in town
With our beloved Harding dead.

All expirated by that dreadful news
His loving wife she lay,
A-praying to God to take her, too,
With him who's passed away.

He leaves a loving wife behind
With six small children dear,
His aged parents nearly crushed
When the dreadful news did hear.

Six sisters married living still
In their native land their homes,
Two brothers with their parents
Their hearts are filled with gloom.

And one tossed on the briny sea
On some isles near sunny Spain,
Is doomed to hear the dreadful news
When he'll return again.

The man that taught him all of the ropes
As they crossed the briny main,
Together on a pleasant voyage
We'll never meet again.

But God has called him for His own,
He does things for the best,
I hope that his immortal soul
Will find eternal rest.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####

Sung by James (Jim) Rice [1879-1958] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Jim Rice also sang a practically identical variant which was collected by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.922-924, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted he assumed the distant port in verse one to be the large Brazilian port Bahia. He also said this native ballad is one of the best of the Newfoundland collection.


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