The North Shoremen's Line (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Shoal Harbour Line (MacEdward Leach)

And also: The Bonavist' Line (Kenneth Peacock)

Now, as I rode out on one morning in May,
To view those poor labourers down on the railway;
The birds they did whistle the sun it did shine,
As I rode for amusement
on the North Shoremen's Line.

I met an old man from the head of the bay,
He had been eight summers down on the railway:
Good morning, old man, and isn't it fine?
How do you like the people
on the North Shoremen's line?

The old man he gazed on me with sad, sad surprise,
I knew, by devil, that's he in his eye:
"And now I will tell you, since I have got time,
They're the red roaring devils
on the North Shoremen's line.

"For boiling your kettle, they charge you five cents,
And fifty to stick up a camp by their fence;
To sew in a bottom they charge you a dime,
For that is the rule
on the North Shoremen's line.

"You'll go into a shop, your groceries to buy,
The old woman she'll nod,
and she'll then wink her eye;
Sayin', now we have got them and isn't it fine,
They're the devil's own
on the North Shoremen's line.

"You'll go into a shop, your milk for to buy,
They'll say it's the best ever came from a cow;
'Tis flour and water, and mixed up so fine,
They'll sell for milk
on the North Shoremen's line.

"Oh, 'tis for the pork, my God! it is bad,
Lichen molasses 'twould near drive you mad;
It is for the flour 'tis like the slaked lime,
'Twould give you consumption
on the North Shoremen's line."

Now, l'Il go home to the head of the bay,
No more from my colliers, no more will I stray;
I'll sit myself down like any that's fine,
And think on the people
on the North Shoremen's line.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an original Newfoundland song ....####

Collected in 1951 from John James of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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