That Joe Batt's Arm Bully (A R Scammell) video
#1296 Youtube video by oldirishladdie
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

Steaming eastward out to sea
with a cross-wind blowing free,
She was burying her bows which
were strongly built and blunt;
And we cheered her from the land,
for we knew what she could stand,
That Joe Batt's Arm bully
with the Change Island punt.

Not on the handy ledges
but on Carey Crumble too,
Her grapnel finds its grip,
where the silvery cod abound;
See her dipping her lee-rail,
cracking on with steam and sail,
That Joe Batt's Arm bully
driving for the Eastern ground.

In the summer with the trawl,
with the hand-lines in the fall,
Her youthful captain ranges,
braving all the weather's brunt
From Round Head to the Rock,
and where'er the bait-birds flock
In his Joe Batt's Arm bully
and the Change Island punt.

His father built the bully,
cut the spars and made the sails,
And he made them very full
and very roomy in the bunt;
'Stead of building one himself
he sent up to Skipper Alf
And asked if he could get him
a Change Island punt.

When his dad went to his rest,
he had only one request:
"Don't sell the boats and engines."
"No, Dad, of course I won't."
"I've taught you all I knew,
you will know just what to do
With the Joe Batt's Arm bully
and the Change Island punt."

Young Will he felt no fear
as he overhauled his gear,
But took his father's tiller
with a firm and steadfast mind;
And his blood thrilled to command
as he turned her from the land,
With all the sheets strainin'
and the tow-line taut behind.

She had beauty, she had grace,
and she always led the chase
South of the Barrack Islands
in the ceaseless summer hunt;
And sometimes late at night
women wept about the plight
Of their men aboard the bully
with the Change Island punt.

And one of them, a fair young maid,
keeps vigil until dawn
And sees at last the far-off sails,
and hears the glad "Ahoy!"
Now her heart is glad and chipper,
for her sweetheart is the skipper
Of one of those stout bullies,
steerin' for the harbour buoy.

As she stands there on the quay
waitin' for the Rose Marie,
Her eager gaze sweeps outward,
rests on the boat in front;
It's her own name on the prow,
painted bold across the bow
Of that Joe Batt's Arm bully
with the Change Island punt.

####.... Arthur R Scammell © BMI Canada, Ltd, 1966 ....####
Recorded by Art Scammell (My Newfoundland, trk#9, 1974, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario).

Liner Notes by Art Scammell:
I wrote most of these songs and verses many years ago when I was growing up in a Newfoundland outport - Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay. The Joe Batt's Arm bullies, powered by sail and steam, were a prominent feature on the offer grounds.

Published in Art Scammell's book, My Newfoundland, pp.130-131 (Harvest House, Montreal, 1966).

See more songs by Arthur R Scammell

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Bully - bluff, two-masted decked boat used on the northeast coast and Labrador for fishing and carrying fish; jack. These boats were about 25 to 30 feet long with a capacity for about 30 quintals of fish. They had two masts and were equipped with a mainsail, foresail, topsail, and sometimes a jib.
Offer - offshore, away from the land; the further seaward of two (or more) objects or features; outer.
Punt - undecked boat up to 25 ft (7.6 m) in length, round-bottomed and keeled, driven by oars, sail or engine and used variously in the inshore or coastal fishery.
Trawl - buoyed line, of great length, to which short lines with baited hooks are attached at intervals.


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