The Huntingdown Shore (Lehr and Best)
See also: The Huntingdon Shore (Gerald S Doyle)

We shipped with young Goodridge in the spring of the year,
And we got thirty shillings to find our own gear;
Thirty shillings in hand and good tea in galore,
And four meals a day on the Huntingdown shore.

On the fourteenth of June our two anchors we weighed,
And the order for sailing was not long delayed;
Consigned unto Goodridge to Hunt and LeMore,
Who sends the men fishing on Huntingdown shore.

The first night at sea we met a great squall;
We let go our royals, our topsails and all;
We shortened our sail, and we couldn't do more,
And then took our course for the Huntingdown shore.

Men, women, and children they lay on their backs,
While more in their bunks, they were straightened like sacks;
And more lay on boxes, their sides they were sore,
They longed to be landed on the Huntingdown shore.

'Twas early next morning just at break of day,
We arose from our slumber and got underway;
Put bread in the cuddy, and pork on the floor,
And shaped her for fishing on the Huntingdown shore.

We kept aft the sheets and kept her full and by,
With the wind from the sou'west as close as she'd lie;
'Til we came to Hare Island, then straightway we bore,
And safely we anchored near Huntingdown shore.

We put out our lines then, our luck there to find,
Every man in the boat sure for fishing inclined;
We cooked but three meals, but I'm sure we'd want more,
And then we hauled up and left Huntingdown shore.

The girls on Round Island on us they did smile,
Saying, Here is young Cormack, young Keefe, and young Doyle;
They are three strangers on the Labrador,
We have lately arrived up from Huntingdown shore.

Now, as for Round Island, the truth I will tell,
No one who goes on it but loves it right well;
It is a fine harbour on the Labrador,
But it can't be compared with the Huntingdown shore.

'Tis true I'm a toper - that's very well known,
If I saved what I earned, I might live at home;
In drink and carousing I spent all my store,
Which makes me lament on the Huntingdown shore.

####.... Composed by a St John's, NL, fisherman named Doyle according to the publisher Gerald S Doyle (Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, Second edition, 1940) ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #53 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.95-96, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that The Huntingdown or Huntingdon shore was a fishing area on the Labrador coast, and Goodridge's was one of the mercantile establishments of that period.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

A variant was recorded as The Huntingdon Shore by Omar Blondahl (A Visit To Newfoundland With Omar Blondahl, trk#10, 1958, Rodeo International, Ontario, distributed by London Records of Canada); and (16 Songs Of Newfoundland, trk#13, 1959, Banff-Rodeo, Ontario, distributed by London Records of Canada); and (Canadian Country Classics: Songs From The Rock, trk#13, 1997 Rodeo Records, Mt Albert, Ontario).

See more songs by Omar Blondahl

From the Maritime History On-Line Catalogue:
Alan Goodridge & Sons - In the second half of the nineteenth-century, Alan Goodridge & Sons was one of the most successful firms in Newfoundland. The firm expanded, eventually opening branches in Placentia Bay, Trinity Bay, Green Bay, St Mary's Bay and Labrador. These included branch operations at Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Tors Cove, Ferryland, Calvert (Caplin Bay), Fermeuse, Renews, Nipper's Harbour and New Perlican. The Registry of Newfoundland Vessels reveals that the Goodridges were one of the largest vessel owners in that era, registering 197 vessels between 1834 and 1917. The firm was Newfoundland's second and third largest exporter of codfish in 1894 and 1895 respectively - 63,800 and 55,300 quintals. The firm's St John's premises occupied an entire block, bounded on the east by Beck's Cove and Codner's Cove on the west.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Cuddy - cabin at the bow or stern of a small vessel or large boat for accommodation and provisions.

From the Naval Glossary Of Sailing Ship Terms:
Royals - small extra sails mounted above the topgallants to increase the sail area of a ship in an emergency in fair wind.


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