Two Vessels Lost At Cape St Mary's (Leach)
See also: Tobias Murphy And Tom Hann (Lehr/Best)

Come all ye hardy fishermen,
I hope you will attend,
And listen unto those few lines
That I am going to pen;
They are concerning dangers
That we poor seamen stand,
While sailing by those stormy shores
On the coasts of Newfoundland

It happened to be in September,
The date I cannot give,
When everything that was on the sea,
It found it hard to live;
Boats and schooners, longliners
And likewise brigantines,
All on the coast of Newfoundland
The like was seldom seen.

'Twas many of our fishermen
Was caught out in that gale,
'Twas many of the bravest hearts
Their courage for to fail;
Two skippers in particular
Their names I will give forth,
There was Boyles Murphy from The Rams
And Tom Hann from Petit Forte.

Those boats lay off St Mary's Banks
When the storm began to rise,
They quickly got in under way
To save their precious lives;
In under close-reefed canvas
To run before the sea,
The first landfall I believe Tom saw
Was the point of Golden Bay.

Drawing handier to the land,
The fog it being quite thick,
The wind and tide all on both sides
Heaved in a heavy kick;
Tom hoisted his double-reefed mainsail peak
To clear around the cape,
That was the only chance he had
From danger to escape.

But we hear he hadn't it up very long
When he had to lower it down,
The wind it took him on the veer
Before he clued in around;
And after he cleared in around
There was a dreadful shock,
A heavy sea broke over her,
They thinks 'twas Reilly's Rock.

For a quarter of an hour
The seas like mountains hove,
Those poor b'ys gave up their lives,
Also their friends at home;
The people watching from the land
They gave their eyes all 'round,
That they could not behold that day,
Their dear friends sinking down.

But when the sea was cleared away
The boat was to be seen,
Men and women went on their knees
Most humbly to pray;
The priest he read a rosary
It was heard with open ears,
And the blessed Virgin rose her hand
And brought her children tears.

Now Boyles Murphy he made low,
And also rather late,
In under two-reefed foresail,
He was forced to bear away,
And run her for North Harbour
Down in St. Mary's Bay.

Now Peter Murphy he took charge,
They told him best to steer,
'Tis for their compass it was bad,
And the morning was not clear;
This poor fellow hadn't her long
When dismal was his doom,
When a heavy sea broke over her
And swept him to his doom.

He tried his best to sail her
When he saw the sea behind,
And Bruce he ran to help him,
Not thinking he would go,
When broke, the sea swept him away
In fathoms down below.

Now ain't this a dreadful sight,
To see those two men drown,
We could not get to save them
For our boat was sinking down;
Our boat was overpowered
By sea and seldom safe,
So we had to go and leave our friends
In a wild and a watery grave.

####.... Peter Leonard ....####

Collected in 1951 from Edward Fitzgerald [1876-1952] of Renews, 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 collected in 1983 from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #110, Tobias Murphy And Tom Hann, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.187-188, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).


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