Torbay Song (MacEdward Leach)

See also: The Loss Of The Shamrock
(Kenneth Peacock)

And also: Shamrock (MacEdward Leach)

Tom Fuher took his clothes,
from his mother's house he went,
To see if they were going
or what was their intent;
James Roarke saw him coming,
those words he did say,
"Here comes my loyal comrade,
we'll be now on our way."

Oh, his mother advised him,
with tears in her eyes,
Saying, "James, my young fellow,
Since you forced those poor boys,
For it looks wild and cloudy
to face out to sea."

They paid no attention,
but on board straight they went,
Himself being quite willing,
the crew against their consent;
They hoist up their mainsail
and their anchor did weigh,
On the eighteenth of September,
on a Friday sailed away.

Saturday the nineteenth,
as you remember well,
When this cold, bitter storm,
it began for to blow;
And twelve o'clock on Saturday,
I hear people say,
That boat of James Morey
was seen in Torbay.

With her sails double reefed
and her mains'l all torn,
And since that very hour,
she was never seen no more;
Now it is for John Nolan,
belong to Torbay,
He done a bad action,
I hear people say.

He done a bad action,
if he's not be alive,
Went and taken those poor boys
when they floated 'longside.

I'm sure I won't curse him
or owe him no spite,
If I wouldn't oblige him,
I would do what is right;
For what other comfort
could a poor mother find,
Than have the body of their
children buried in the cliff.

My name is Tom Fuher
and my age twenty-two,
Last winter, dearest mother,
I spent long with you;
Three years I served James Morey,
it's against my consent,
I sailed in the Shamrock,
to the bottom she went.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

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

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

A variant was collected in 1959 from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Loss Of The Shamrock in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.963-964, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Mr Decker said this native ballad was old when he learned it in his youth, over sixty years ago, [pre-1900] and so there is no danger of reviving unpleasant memories among the principals of the story. In any event, it would be difficult to get 'clearance' from surviving relatives to use the song because no place-names are mentioned.

According to the Northern Shipwrecks Database, the Shamrock was lost in a gale off Cape St Mary's on September 19, 1846.

See more NL shipwreck songs.


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Newfoundland And Labrador

(AD 1628 through 2020)


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