The Boys At Ninety-Five (Kenneth Peacock)

Come all ye Newfoundlanders,
come listen unto me,
I am a good old lumberjack
as you may plainly see;
On the fourteenth of August
I left my native home,
To board the Bonavista Branch
to Deer Lake I did go.

I wasn't long in Deer Lake
when a card was passed to me,
They signed me up to Ninety-five
with not a decent tree;
The wood was bad, the walk was long,
'twould almost break your heart,
The scaler he would come and say
the wood was much too sharp.

Herb Porter is our skipper,
with him we did go 'way,
He is a good old lumberjack
raised up in Trinity Bay;
Herb Baker is some foreman
as you may understand,
No bigger sport can be found
on the shores of Newfoundland.

But Herbie drinks a lot,
I think it does him good,
He sure can put the saws in shape
for tumbling down the wood;
Three cord a day they say he cuts
but what's the good of that,
There's only one booze for him
and he's got to return back.

The next is our good cook, boys,
Bob Bennett is his name,
His equals can't be found
with the Company so they claim;
He's pleasant all through the day,
he'll greet you with a smile,
We'll stay and cut the bad wood
just to get our grub in style.

Here's luck to good old Ben, boys,
I'll wish him luck that's good,
And when I eats from him again,
I'll be cutting better wood;
The next is our good cook-aids,
they're better than the best,
One hails from the east coast
and the other from the west.

'Twould do you good to see them
in the cook-house fly about,
At five o'clock in the morning saying,
"All hands must heave out!"
At six o'clock is breakfast time,
we'll get an early start,
To hear those bucksaws ringing
from daylight until dark.

I think that some old men here,
I think they're very good,
But I guess it's on the bunk
they cut most of their wood;
Now to conclude and finish
I hope you'll like our work,
The composer is Mike Brennan
and the writer Sebastian Burke.

####.... A lumber camp moniker ballad with music by Mike Brennan [1919-1984] of Marystown, NL, and lyrics by Sebastian (Ken) Burke [1926-2008] of St Mary's Bay ....####
Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Leslie Mahoney [b.1928] of Stock Cove, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.746-747, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Ninety-five refers to the number of the lumber camp in the Deer Lake area.

NOTES: The Bonavista branch line was the second longest of the island's branch line narrow-gauge railway routes. The remaining trail can be picked up in the Town of Clarenville, and runs from the main T'Railway to the historic Town of Bonavista about 144 kms away on the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula.

See more lumber camp songs from NL.


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