Bakeapple Jam (Arthur R Scammell)

Bakeapple time is here again,
we're making up a crew,
My mother says that I can't go,
but father says I can;
And when we get in on the marsh,
I'll only eat a few,
'Cause we got to stock up
on bakeapple jam.

Bakeapple jam!
Now don't you take too much of it,
I'm savin' it along till
the snow is off the ground;
Just a spoonful or two
for you and sister Sue,
'Cause I want to have a crock
or two when company's around.

I picked a pint around that knap,
I'll shuck 'em later on,
I'm the fastest picker here,
I'm pretty sure I am;
We're goin' to lose a lot of sweat
afore the day is gone,
And have to pay with nipper bites
for bakeapple jam.

Uncle Isaac finds some blasty boughs
and cuts a kettle stick,
Aunt Bessy brought a rounder
and she shares a bit with Gran;
Then suddenly the chant is heard,
insistent, eager, quick -
"Did anybody bring
any bakeapple jam?"

When garden party time rolls 'round
to swell the church's funds,
There's food galore for one and all
and little boys can cram;
On the table that's reserved
for the high and mighty ones,
There's sure to be a crock or two
of bakeapple jam.

Oh, the parson came for prayers
and he stayed with us awhile,
He took us unawares
'cause he sent no telegram;
When the main course was over
says my mom with a smile -
"Now have a little taste
of my bakeapple jam!"

We asked her where she kept it
and we gave her a little peace,
Till she turned in desperation
and sternly bade us scram:
"Go on out-of-doors and play,"
and she'd murmer every day,
"I'll soon be right out
of me bakeapple jam."

One day a friend of dad's
dropped in to share a social meal,
So we had a jar of "you know what"
to coax down the Kam;
But when my mom with reverent hands
removed the outer seal,
There was a fowst on the top
of her bakeapple jam.

Whenever mother's women friends
came visiting and tried
To be polite and querried her
about her precious lamb;
She'd brag about my appetite
with mixed regret and pride -
"I never saw his beater
for bakeapple jam."

When we cleaned the house this spring
from attic to the ground,
We swept out all the cobwebs
in behind the baby's pram;
And under all that rubbish
what do 'ee 'low we found?
But a big jar of
last year's bakeapple jam!

When I left my home that day
for places far away,
Said mother, "Just be careful of
that parcel, will you, Sam?
Now, don't bang this about,
'tis a few bottled trout,
And my last little crock
of bakeapple jam!"

Bakeapple jam!
Now don't you take too much of it,
I'm savin' it along till
the snow is off the ground;
Just a spoonful or two
for you and sister Sue,
'Cause I want to have a crock
or two when company's around.

####.... Arthur R Scammell © BMI Canada, Ltd, 1966 ....####
Recorded by Art Scammell (My Newfoundland, trk#2, 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.

Published in Art Scammell's book, My Newfoundland, pp.126-128 (Harvest House, Montreal, Quebec, 1966).

A variant was also printed on pp.27-28 of the Atlantic Guardian volume 11, nmumber 01, (January-February 1954) and published by Guardian Limited, St John's, NL, Ewart Young, editor [1913-1968].

See more songs by Arthur R Scammell.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Bakeapple - low plant growing in bogs and producing an amber berry in late summer; cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus).
Blasty bough - dead and dry branch of spruce or fir with the needles still adhering which, used as kindling, burns with a quick, fierce, crackling flame.
Fowst or Foust - mould.
Knap - raised portion of land, often with a round top; crest of a hill; knob.
Nipper - large biting mosquito.
Rounder - small cod-fish or 'tom cod', gutted, headed, salted, and dried without being split.

¹ Although the name bakeapple does seem to be used almost exclusively in Newfoundland, the berry itself can be found in most of the world's circumpolar regions and is usually called the cloudberry. For more information see the Cloudberry Fact Sheet.
² Kam is a ready-to-eat canned luncheon meat product.


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