The Song Of The Annie Young (Walter Hayman) video
#174: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
℗2010 ~ Used with permission ~

You people all both great and small
I hope you'll understand,
The perils of the ocean
When you are safe on land;
It's concerning of the Annie Young,
George Hayman in command,
And seven bold and sturdy lads
Belong to Fox Island.

On the twenty fourth of August
The truth I will relate,
In nineteen hundred and thirty-five
Those poor boys met their fate;
They left their homes all full of joy,
Bound on the Labrador,
Not thinking they would never see
Their home and friends no more.

There are brothers and there are sisters
Who also for them do weep;
But they trust that God has guided them
To a home of rest and sleep.
We know it's hard to think about
Those eight young lives so fair,
So little they thought when they left home,
Their end it was so near.

The Man Alone was close alongside,
George Warren in command;
As they were keeping company
About fifteen miles from land.
The gale did blow so heavy,
And it was growing night;
They were forced to bring their schooners to,
Thought they'd ride it out all right.

But as the gale was raging,
The sea was raging too;
It was in the Gulf those boats did lie,
For what more could they do?
The Man Alone she rode it out,
And reached their homes all right;
They lost sight of the Annie Young
About eleven o'clock that night.

What time those poor boys met their doom
No tongue nor pen could tell;
But we trust that they're in heaven,
Safe where the angels dwell.
We know they fought hard for their lives,
But it was all in vain;
They sank below in a watery grave,
And we'll never see them again.

The Annie Young was twenty-two tons
And she was two years old;
To look upon this noble boat
She seemed to be very bold.
The skipper of the Man Alone
Those words I heard him say:
"That evening when the gale came on
Her mainsail tore away."

The skipper was thirty-four years of age,
Left a wife and children three;
We trust that they'll be looked upon
And always happy be.
We know he thought upon them
When he saw he was doomed to die;
To think of him lying in the deep,
How mournful they would cry.

The second hand was a pleasant man,
John McDonald was his name;
He also left two children,
We know he felt the same.
To think about his orphans
He was going to leave behind;
We know he felt broken-hearted
When they passed through his mind.

The other six were all single lads
With hearts both brave and strong;
Three of them were Coley boys,
Fox Island did belong.
John Warren and Bennie Hayman,
The cook they had on board;
And Johnnie Marks was the other lad
That was called home by the Lord.

Those poor men all left parents
Who sadly for them weep;
And talk about their loved ones
That are lying in the deep.
Their looks will never be forgot
While relations do remain;
Their places never will be filled
In Fox Island again.

There are brothers and there are sisters
Who also for them weep;
But they trust that God has guided them
To a home of rest and sleep.
We know it's hard to think about
Those eight young lives so fair;
So little they thought when they left their home,
Their end it was so near.

So now my song is ended,
I'll close it with regret;
We may sail the ocean all around
And dangers never met.
But we must all trust in the Lord
And give to Him our love,
That He may send us mercy from
The heavens up above.

####.... Walter Hayman (brother of the lost cook) ....####

The first 5½ verses above were found in the papers of Walter Stanley Payne [1888-1952] of Rocky Harbour, Bonne Bay, NL, by his granddaughter Sandy.

This comparatively longer variant was collected in 1977 from Rosy Northcott of Ramea, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #2, The Annie Young in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.4-5, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

The following is excerpted from Toll Of The Sea: Stories From The Forgotten Coast, ©1995 by Robert C Parsons:

"During an August 1935 gale, while bound for the Labrador grounds, she disappeared with all her crew. George Hayman was skipper and he carried seven men: cook Bennie Hayman and six men for Annie Young's three dories, John McDonald, John Warren, John Marks and three men named Coley from Fox Island near Ramea. On August 24, Annie Young and another vessel, Man Alone, travelled near each other about fifteen miles off Newfoundland's west coast. During frequent storms the relatively shallow waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence build up mountainous seas. Small schooners caught in its roiling seas need sheltered harbours; but there was no haven for the twenty-two-ton Annie Young.

"When the sudden gale flew in their faces in the evening, both schooners attempted to lie to in order to ride out the gale until it abated. In the morning hours during the gale Captain George Warren of Man Alone saw the distressed schooner's mainsail torn off. Later Warren lost sight of Annie Young and the next morning Man Alone made it to harbour to report the Ramea schooner would probably not survive the storm.

"Warren's dire prediction proved correct. According to a Daily News report of September 11, 1935, one of Annie Young's dories was picked up at Cow Head - the vessel and her crew disappeared."

Note: GEST has other songs about the Newfoundland gale of August 25, 1935, including: The August Gale and Forty Fishermen.

See more NL shipwreck songs.

The video above features a variant recorded by Ocean Showband (1975 LP, trk#2, Vintage Records, ON, produced by Goodtime Promotions, recorded at Sound Canada).

Ocean Showband was an eight-member group from Port aux Basques, NL, that played mainly folk music. The members were: Tom Hynes: keyboards; vocals: Junior Bragg, Elroy Bobbett; rhythm: David Pearce; bass and mandolin: Albert Osmond; accordian: Eric "Nibbs" Matthews; drums: Raymond Osmond; spoons and wood block: Glen Tilly.


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