The Loss Of The Jewel (Kenneth Peacock)

Come all you Newfoundlanders
and listen unto me,
I'll tell you of the Jewel
as she went down at sea;
On the 28th day of October last,
right well I remember the day,
When we sheeted out our topsails,
from Tilt Cove sailed away.

We had not long been sailing
when it blew a heavy gale,
Our captain cried, "Go aloft,
my boys, and clew up every sail."
The word was given, quite soon was done
by ten brave seamen bold,
And they belonged to Newfoundland
where the winter winds blow cold.

As we were lashed onto the pumps
our hearts with fear did fret
To see our large fore-topsail yard
come crashing through our deck;
Our captain he ran with an axe in hand
to cut the yard away,
And we stopped our leaks with canvas
that wild and stormy day.

We shipped a heavy sea, my boys,
it washed away our boat,
We cut her clear of the wreck that day
while the tempest loud did roar;
And we settled our thoughts on home
and friends we may not see no more.

As we were lashed onto our pumps
our hearts were filled with glee
To see a full-rigged ship, my boys,
appearing under our lee;
We hoist a signal for distress,
our Union upside-down,
When they put out their boats to save us
for fear that she'd go down.

Oh, now we're on board the Albatross,
from Greenland she did come,
Bound down to Philadelphia
far from our native home;
And if ever I live to get home again
I will go to work on shore,
And I'll tell the tale of the midnight gale
and I'll go to the seas no more.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.948-949, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this native ballad would appear to date from the sailing days of the 19th century.

The 52-ton schooner Jewel was constructed in Little Burnt Bay, an outport in Notre Dame Bay in 1877. The July 1, 1880 issue of the Twillingate Sun reported the Jewel was mastered by Thomas Knight and cleared for the Labrador Fleet by Messrs Waterman & Co. The list of approved schooners represented a first rate line of schooners, many of them being nearly new, and all fitted to contend with the rough billows of the Labrador coast. According to the Northern Shipwrecks Database, the Jewel was wrecked October 28, 1891 at Gull Island in Conception Bay, between Tilt Cove and St John's. According to Shipwrecks Of Newfoundland And Labrador, Vol IV, by Frank Galgay and Michael McCarthy, the Jewel was lost near Burgeo, NL on July 10, 1917.

See more songs about NL shipwrecks.


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