Captain Power (MacEdward Leach)

Come all ye hardy fishermen
wherever that ye go,
Be sure and choose an early bird
and go wit' Captain Power;
First we have to shovel bog
from morning until night,
And then go after cod which, boys,
it was our whole delight.

Power comes in the morning
sure he began to air,
The bog ye shovelled yesterday
ye scattered it everywhere;
Jim Bulger bein' to de table
he got in a hard way,
Said we would do it better
if we shovelled bog today.

Jim, you are a quick kind of a man
that would understand this job,
I'll get you a better job,
I know that you can caulk;
Oh, yes, says Mr Bulger,
sure I can do all that,
Get me the iron, oakum,
and the stable I'll go at.

Bill Bone he bein' our carpenter
and a handyman you know,
The rest of us be handymen
for choppin' and for sawin';
For buildin' all those wharves,
my b'ys, we can't be bet at all,
Now this job is over
returns are now delayed.

We had to go up Biscay Bay
to cut stuff for the stage,
Went up in Din Ryan's dory,
boys, she was so awfully tight;
It took one man to keep her free
and bail with all his might.

Landed up to Deep Point Head
about half-past nine o'clock,
Travelled up to Path End
it was a hard walk;
All day to our neck in the water,
boys, I'm sorry to relate,
And back again to Poole Cove
without one bite to eat.

Ellen Ryan, she being our cook,
I'm sorry to relate,
She's going for Jim Butler
belonging to Davies Break;
Ellen White wit' her white blouse
in bed wit' Bob Chase,
She's telling all her friends,
I like his pretty face.

Now this job is over, b'ys,
the caplin school comes on,
My b'ys we have to get caplin in
before they are all gone;
And if we don't get caplin
for ye we will have none,
Do ye go dip the caplin, b'ys,
the horse will haul 'em home.

Power comes in the morning
to see his old red bat,
My b'ys we have another haul,
it's a prospect in the trap;
They goes flyin' around us
and Paddy there is one,
We'll set the other later, b'ys,
the prospect is not gone.

Now the fight is over,
the codfish we have none,
The few we got we'll wash them out
before we will go home;
And then to light the bunkhouse
and likewise burn the hay,
We'll bid adieu to Captain Power
forever and a day.

Now to conclude and finish
it remains to end my song,
I hope I didn't offend ye, boys,
or yet say anything wrong;
And if ye wants to know the man
who did compose this song,
His name it is Joe
and to Gaskiers shore belongs.

####.... Author is given only as Joe from Gaskiers Shore, NL ....####

Collected in 1951 from Michael (Mike) Molloy [1893-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Bog - peat, especially removed from marsh-land and used for improving garden soils.
Caplin (Capelin) - small, iridescent deep-water fish (Mallotus villosus) like a smelt which, followed by the cod, appears inshore during June and July to spawn along the beaches, and is netted for bait, for manuring the fields, or dried, salted, smoked, or frozen for eating.
Stage - elevated platform on the shore with working tables, sheds, etc, where fish are landed and processed for salting and drying, and fishing gear and supplies are stored; fishing stage.


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