The Ships That Sailed To-Day (James Murphy)

See also: Sealer's Song (MacEdward Leach)

And also: Captains And Ships (Kenneth Peacock)

And also: Ballad Of The Sealers (James Murphy)

And also: Ships And Captains (MacEdward Leach)

And also: Captains And Ships (Crowd Of Bold Sharemen)

I watched when they departed,
'twas eight o'clock the hour,
I saw them steaming down the shore
with Tom Rose at Cabot Tower;
The echoes of their cheering
in fancy o'er me steals,
As our Northern men, so daring,
went forth in quest of seals.

The Terra Nova, Captain Kean,
with two hundred and three men,
Went through the gap this morning
to try her luck again;
While the screaming of the Eagle
was heard both high and low,
In charge of a son of Abraham,
the sturdy Captain Joe.

There sailed the stout Aurora,
commanded by Dan Green,
With Captain Sam Bob Winsor
in Browring's Algerine;
Chased by the bold ice Ranger
bound on her sealing quest,
No novice to that danger,
with a Bishop she is blest.

Darius leads the Vanguard
of Baine Johnston's ships,
Long live bold Captain Blandford
to bring in bumper trips;
As soon as one can find them -
I know where one is found -
'Tis bully young Bill Winsor
who sails the old Bloodhound.

There's Barbour in the Iceland,
a bold seal killer, too,
While Bragg commands the Greenland
to show what Bragg can do;
Good luck to Peter Carter,
and may he meet no loss,
There's not a man much smarter
to sail the Southern Cross.

The Adventure and the Grand Lake
have also gone to sea,
The first in charge of Harry Dawe,
and the last by Jobey Knee;
The Newfoundland with Parsons
sent forth her whistle shrill!
Jesse Winsor sailed the Panther
he's proud of Wesleyville.

George Barbour in the Neptune,
he's good as water wet,
Job Kean commands the Eric,
he's a solid man, you bet;
While the lucky ship Diana,
she bears a man of fame,
From Newtown, Bonavista,
Alf Barbour is his name.

Jacob Winsor sailed the Walrus,
supplied by Browning's store,
And my friends, both Baird and Gordon,
sent George Hann in Labrador;
While Jacob Kean in Virginia Lake
completes the twenty ships,
And the wish of all - may they return
filled up with bumper trips.

####.... Published in the St John's Daily News, c.1936. According to the headline this was, "A Song of Some 30 Years Ago (c.1906) Written by the late James Murphy." [1867-1931] ....####
A very similar variant was sung in 1950 by Morris Houlihan [1885-?] of Flatrock, NL, and published as Sealer's Song in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

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

A third variant was also collected by Kenneth Peacock and published as Captains And Ships in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, p.865, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was arranged and recorded as Captains And Ships by Crowd Of Bold Sharemen (A Crowd Of Bold Sharemen, trk#7, 2002, Singsong, Inc, St John's, NL).


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