Harkin's Voyage (MacEdward Leach)
(Bold Larkin)

See also: Bull Yorkens (Kenneth Peacock)

Come all ye jolly seamen bold
that to the seas belong,
It wants your whole attention
to listen to my song;
If I'm going wrong then stop my hand,
for you will be obliged,
I mean to state what did take place
the year of '65.

'Twas in the month of April,
Sunday Morning, at half past four,
An accident on board of her
while Neptune loud did roar;
That morning being our thirty-first,
tossed on the raging main,
One single pound of bread a day
each man for to sustain.

We were running all night
under double reefed tops,
expecting to make the land,
Each eye to sea felt eagerly
its morning's first-sighted land,
When old Harkins cries, "Away, me boys,
neither light nor land in view,
But the daylight is approaching,
and for it we will heave to."

Now, when the daylight cleared away
the land we did espy,
And Harkins cries, "Make sail, me boys,
to get her home we'll try."
Two youths to loose out our forecourse,
his orders did obey,
And one of them poor fellows fell
from our fore-yard that day.

And 'bout that time, eight-and-a-half
she was taking from the reel,
When instantly old helmsman
to starboard hove the wheel;
Right nimbly her mainyards spun,
a boat was lowered by hand,
Eight minutes from the time it fell
'twas launched and nobly manned.

Like hardy for his life to save,
they used both strength and skill,
With breakers white all 'round them,
their boat began to fill;
When mention and bold combined
to row her with all their might,
Poor fellow to his maker flew,
he's vanished from their sight.

His time was come, his glass was run,
to his maker he did flee,
Let's hope the great Almighty
did receive him thankfully;
Now there was many sad and aching hearts
on board of us that day,
When Harkins gave the order
our main yard to square away.

With desolate minds, leaving behind
the boy we all loved dear,
In the ocean deep to take his sleep
about four mile from Cape Spear;
And when we hauled into the dock
his aged father he was there,
Wringing of his aged hands
and tearing of his hair.

He cries out broken-hearted,
"Boys, where did ye lay my child?
And for his tender mother,
I'm certain she'll go wild."
He cried out broken-hearted,
"Boys, where did you lay my dear?"
"We left him in a watery grave
about four miles from Cape Spear."

Now, parents dear, don't weep no more
for the losing of a son,
And, sisters dear, I beg of you
one prayer for him that's gone;
And all ye people young and old,
men, women and children,
Pray that the soul of Andrew Sheehan
might rest in peace. Amen.

####.... Variant of The Loss Of Andrew Sheehan written by John Grace, a seaman from Riverhead, St John's, NL ....####
Sung in 1950 by Charles Dawe [1875-1957] of Flatrock, NL, and as Bold Larkin by Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, both variants published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #11, Bold Larkin in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003. Co-published with Breakwater Books, St John's, in the Atlantic provinces).

A variant was also collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Ronald Hoven [1899-1980] of Fogo, NL, and published as Bull Yorkens in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.907-908, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

John Grace's narrative style of songwriting becomes obvious when this song is compared with a variant of another of his songs, Captain Larkins.


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