The Steamship Deane (Lehr and Best)

You people all both great and small
I hope you will attend
And listen to those verses few
that I have lately penned,
While I relate the hardships great
that fishermen must stand
While sailing over the stormy seas
on the coast of Newfoundland.

It happened to be in the summertime
in the lovely month of June
The flowers began to spring and rise
all in their earthly bloom;
If you will pay attention I will unfold to ye
The dangers of the SS Deane
that went out on the sea.

She left the port of Harbour Grace
being on a Sunday night
With a crew of hearty whaling men
with spirits gay and bright;
For to land them in Hawke's Harbour
as she oft-times done before
But now I'm sorry to relate
she'll never go no more.

She left the port of Harbour Grace
when the flowers were in full bloom
To land them in Hawke's Harbour
her summer to pursue;
With fifty brave whaling men
of courage brave and gay
The most of them were married men,
belong to Placentia Bay.

She left the port of Harbour Grace
as we have all been told
Not fearing any danger
no matter how it blowed;
And on that very same Sunday
to our surprising shock
The SS Deane making full speed
she lands upon a rock.

And when she struck upon the rock
'twas a sad sight for to see
Every man with his clothes bag
as witty as could be;
For to save their belongings
that was money's worth to them
And struggling hard to save their lives
those fifty shipwrecked men.

You may thank the light keeper
that lived on Penguin,
The lovely man, whoever he was,
all praise be given him;
May this good deed go down for him,
may it recorded be
For saving those fifty shipwrecked men
from the dangers of the sea.

For to conclude and finish,
thank God no deed was done
The Deane she sank to rise no more
so near Stag Harbour run;
They're safely in Hawke's Harbour
their summer for to spend
May God be with them night and day,
send them safe home again.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1976 from Mrs Mary (Min) Caul [1902-?] of Arnold's Cove, NL, and published as #29 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.49-50, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that the Deane was wrecked on June 23, 1935, on the North Penguin Shoals, near Musgrave Harbour. She was commanded by Captain Bronneck and owned by the Newfoundland Whaling Company.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

The Northern Shipwrecks Database lists the cause of this wreck as "Stranded. Navigation error."

See more songs about NFLD shipwrecks.


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