Schooner Mary Ann (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Bound Down To Newfoundland
(MacEdward Leach)

And also: Bound Down For Newfoundland
(Ryan's Fancy)

Ye landsmen that live on the land,
It's little do ye know,
What we poor seamen do endure
When the stormy winds do blow;
On St Patrick's Day, we sailed away
In the schooner Mary Ann,
We left New York, our native homes,
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Morning service it being o'er,
We boldly slipped our lines,
The Statue of Liberty
In New York, we left behind;
We crowded canvas fore and aft,
As you may understand,
And left our homes and sailed away,
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Our captain being a young man
Scarce nineteen years in life,
Three weeks before he left the shore
He married a loving wife;
But little did she ever think
As she let go his hand,
Her husband she no more would see
When he sailed for Newfoundland.

We had scarce been three days sailing,
When in his cabin lay,
He called his mate down aft to him,
Those words to him did say:
"I'm taken down by some disease,
As you may understand,
To you, my mate, I'll give full charge,
Going down to Newfoundland.

"When you reach some distant port
On the Nova Scotia shore,
Give me a decent burial,
Of you, I'll ask no more;
And when you reach New York again
My death you can make known,
I'm dying and I'll be a loss
To my once happy home."

With heavy hearts we set our sail,
His orders to obey,
We made the land quite early,
All on that self-same day;
At three o'clock in the afternoon,
As you may understand,
As the narrows shot, our captain died,
Going down to Newfoundland.

Doctors they were sent for,
Our case for to make known,
Smallpox on board were raging,
The same to us he told;
And on the following afternoon,
Four more were sent on shore,
May the Lord have mercy on their souls,
We'll never see them no more.

Out of eight brave youths that left New York,
Only three of them returned,
Their mothers, wives, and sweethearts
Are left at home to mourn;
And when I reach New York again,
I will get work on shore,
I'll learn to lead a landsman's life
And go to sea no more.

####.... Variant of a late 19th-century native American ballad authored by Captain Cale White, Bound Down To Newfoundland [Laws D22] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964) ....####

Collected in 1951 from Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] 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).

A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach in 1950 from James Maher [1885-1969] of Flatrock, NL, and published as Bound Down To Newfoundland in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Another variant was collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Clarence Bennett [1926-1993] of St Paul's NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.905-906, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and published as Bound Down For Newfoundland in Songs And Ballads From Nova Scotia (Dent, 1932; Dover 1966).

And yet another variant was collected in 1977 from John Hayman [1903-?] of Ramea, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #73, The Schooner Mary Ann, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.126-127, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this song was composed after 1886, the year the Statue of Liberty was erected. Lehr also noted that in some collections this song is assumed to be a native ballad while in others it is considered to be American.

See more Lehr and Best songs.

A variant was recorded as Bound Down For Newfoundland by Ryan's Fancy on their first LP, a re-release of the LP Sullivan's Gypsies (Ryan's Fancy Sung By Sullivan's Gypsies, 1970 LP, trk#3, Harmony/Columbia Records, Toronto, ON).

See more Ryan's Fancy songs.


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Newfoundland And Labrador

(AD 1628 through 2020)


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