High Times In Our Ship (Kenneth Peacock)

It's of Martin Hurley, you bet he's not slack,
He gets the two Daltons to work his cod trap;
He clewed up the voyage and went to get more,
He got the yacht ready, went on the French Shore,
And it's high times in our ship.

In crossing the White Bay met up with the lop,
Ran into a puncheon and thought 'twas a rock;
The man on the lookout as soon as 'twas done
Went to the main halyards and the mainsail let run,
And it's high times in our ship.

The skipper was frightened and likewise the crew,
We hoist up our mainsail, got into Bloody Two;
We got into Bloody Two when we anchored 'er fair.
Oh, dammit," said Martin, "we'll load 'er down there."
And it's high times in our ship.

We got a good trip of fish before it got late,
Martin was captain, young Joseph chief mate,
Billy Laughton was cook, the old man takes the cake,
And it's high times in our ship.

One fine Sunday morning when the weather was duck,
Young Joseph down aft was reading his book,
With his blue derry bander and eye-glasses long.
"Keep 'er full, father, she'll soon jog along!"
And it's high times in our ship.

Just as bold Martin turned Little Bay Head,
Nellie she eyed him and said 'twas a brig.
"Say, it's a brig from the north or the south,
Why, dammit, it's Martin with his mainsail bloomed out!"
And it's high times in our ship.

When Martin got in the water did sound,
He lowered his mainsail and both anchors let down;
He hoist out his boat, he pulled for the shore.
"We are home now," says Martin, "we'll go there no more."
And it's high times in our ship.

We started to scrape down the last of the month,
We hoist Joe aloft in the big fishin' punt,
The big fishin' punt for the small bo's'n's cheer,
And Martin was afraid of his rotten gear.
And it's high times in our ship.

Now, Mrs Hurley, I won't delay you long,
I hope you'll excuse me for makin' this song;
And if you don't you know I don't care,
For when Martin hears it I know he will swear.
And it's high times in our ship.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland moniker song ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Mrs Isaac Freeman (Catherine) Bennett [1908-2006] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Volume 1, pp.136-137, by the National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the local expression 'clewed up' in verse one means 'finished' or 'brought to an end'. It comes from the nautical term 'clew up' which means to haul up the corners (clews) of the sails in preparation for furling (gathering sail up and lashing it). The 'lop' in verse two refers to the choppy condition of the water caused by a sudden squall. 'Bander' in verse five is a corruption of 'bandel' or 'bandeau', a small head-band.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Clewed Up - ceased (doing something); completed or finished (an action, task, etc).
Duck - corruption of 'duckish'; dark, gloomy, especially at end of day.
Puncheon - large cask for liquids, fish, etc.; largest of the wooden casks used as containers in the fisheries.
Punt - undecked boat up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) in length, round-bottomed and keeled, driven by oars, sail or engine, and used variously in the inshore or coastal fishery.


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