The Moonshine Informer (Lehr and Best)

There's a quiet little village in Bonavist' Bay
Where the people are united in every way.
There's one man among them I'll have you to know,
He proved an informer and his name is John Snow.

He informed on those people for making moonshine
And others for giving his wife ginger wine;
May his name be published wherever he go -
Buck goats and brave women torment you, John Snow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
He went down to Trinity his teeth to get plucked
He was seen and talked over by officer Tulk.

The authorities came over and they held the court -
John Snow with his clothes on dressed off like a sport;
With Polly for witness and Moody behind,
They'd swear that the water you drink 'twas moonshine.

He came out from the courthouse and this he did say,
'If tomorrow is fine I must go up the bay,
For to get my stuff don't you think it's all right.'
Not thinking those women would give him such fright.

Here's good luck to those women of Southern Bay
Likewise to Mr Oldford who stands for fair play
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To banish informers down out of our bay.

####.... Moses (Uncle Mose) Harris [1911-?] of Lethbridge, Bonavista Bay, NL ....####
Collected in 1976 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from the composer Moses (Uncle Mose) Harris [1911-?] of Lethbridge, Bonavista Bay, NL, and published as #79 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.139-140, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Southern Bay is a small town in Bonavista Bay, close to Lethbridge where Uncle Mose spent the last years of his life. At one time, he did reside in Southern Bay and was acquainted enough with the local custom of moonshine making that he composed this song in great condemnation of an unforgivable crime - moonshine informing! Apparently, when John Snow went 'up the bay' to get his belongings, the women of the town chased him to the wharf and the man barely escaped with his life. It is most unfortunate that this verse has been lost. Uncle Mose could not remember all the verses of this song; he found it easy to remember the songs he learned from other people, but tended to forget his own compositions - and he did compose a lot.

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