Soup Supper In Clattice Harbour (Peter Leonard)
(The Buns Of Daily Bread)

On the eighteenth of November,
as ye all will remember,
The day it been a fine one,
and frosty too, you know;
As the evening kept advancing,
they kept teasing me about dancing,
And to suit their foolish fancy
I did agree to go.

I knew I'd be accepted
but really wasn't expected,
It been so long since I'd been
to anything like this before;
Through the door I boldly entered,
to the ballroom floor I ventured,
I addressed the porter gently
as I stepped inside the door.

Five cents was the admission,
and I'm sure it's no addition,
To add it all together
the sum it was but small;
And the old Giant in the center
with the fire red and a-ranting,
And fire wood you know was plenty,
those logs were never small.

When the boys got out dancing,
I bet there was no prancing,
For every boy and girl had come
to do the best they could;
Then someone made a blunder
like a double clap of thunder,
But no one seemed to wonder,
the sport was going good.

I gazed around the building,
it was really quite bewildering,
When something struck upon my sight
a little space ahead;
I discovered it was an altar
where Mass was oft times offered,
But tonight it's decorated
with buns of daily bread.

Oh the waiters they were seven,
between ten and eleven,
You could bet they were funny
when the table it was set;
When the soup it started coming
there were boys with boilers running,
It made you all feel funny
to see what you were going to get.

The table seated twenty
and the soup you know was plenty,
The bread and buns went with it
to make it all go good;
And what it was made out of
there was no odds about it,
But no one seemed to doubt it,
for the taste it was quite good.

When the supper it was over,
like a storm in the Straits of Dover,
The music never slackened
and the dancers still held on;
The old women started dancing
and in bunches they went prancing,
I thought they were going frantic,
we had a jolly time.

It was four or five o'clock
before anyone would stop,
They had another supper
it was just as much or more;
And I'm sure it won't be eaten,
no neither will it be equaled,
And I'm sure it won't be beaten
neither up nor down the shore.

####.... Peter Leonard [1890-1964] of Placentia Bay, NL ....####
Sung at many a party by Fergus Fulford [1912-1994] of Merasheen, Placentia Bay, NL, and published for the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL.

A variant was collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1983 from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #99 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.172-173, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this song was written about a local 'Time' - probably the most popular form of socializing and entertainment in rural Newfoundland until recent years. These 'Times' usually included a 'sale of works,' 'soup supper,' and a dance later in the evening. Children were always allowed to stay and were bundled up in coats and put to sleep on the tables and desks in the school or hall. Baby-sitting was a function of the community. Giant was the brand name of an old wood and coal stove.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

Recorded as The Soup Supper In Clattice Harbour by Anita Best (Crosshanded, 1997, Amber Music, Topsail, NL).

See more songs by Anita Best.


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