'Twas Getting Late Up In September
(Kenneth Peacock)

'Twas getting late up in September,
I remember the day of the week;
To spread fish on the bawn to make wages,
We went there without much sleep.

'Twas early I arose in the morning,
And sped to the brow of the hill;
Where I spied a fair girl in the valley,
She came her buckets to fill.

Now her buckets she lowered in the fountain,
A-counting the moments being past;
A-smiling I gazed all upon her,
As she threw down her buckets at last.

I says, "My handsome fair one,
Why is it you're out in the dawn?
Just give me one drink of cold water,
Before I go out on the bawn."

My heart it had sank in my bosom,
I thought I was losing my mind;
I said, "Will you marry and save me?
I'll die if you prove so unkind.

She said, "My handsome young man,
No longer need each fare alone;
For here is my hand now, embrace it,
And gladly with you I will roam."

A priest he came up on the steamer,
The furls flew high to the mast;
He joined us together in wedlock,
And tied up the knot tight and fast.

And now we are married and happy,
As happy as happy can be;
We live in a nice little cottage,
Down by the side of the sea.

And now to conclude and to finish,
My song I won't sing any more;
For 'tis getting late up in September,
Down on the white Labrador.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Labrador song ....####

Collected in 1951 by Kenneth Peacock from James (Jim) Rice [1879-1958] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.601-602, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (3rd Ed, p.78, 1955).

Kenneth Peacock noted that this native love lyric is one of the few songs which originated in Labrador. The word 'bawn' is a general term for any piece of land by the shore, usually a stony beach, where fishing operations are carried out. This is another of the many native songs from the National Museum's collection previously published by the late Gerald S Doyle of St John's, NL, in his 1955 booklet Old-Time Songs Of Newfoundland.


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