The Penny Fair (Lehr and Best)

O come all you hardy fishermen,
and listen to my song;
Now we're not very good scholars,
and we won't delay you long.
I have a little story about the Penny Fair,
How she drifted from the wharf
one night in December of this year.

Shake hands with Stanley Rossiter, boys,
her skipper in command -
Shake hands with mate Abe Oxford,
likewise his bos'un Ban;
They are three jolly fishermen
as anyone can prove,
'Til they woke up this morning
with the Penny Fair up in the cove.

Frank Andrews he did phone the men
and he got them out that morn -
As they were tucked up in their beds
so cozy and so warm;
George Dunford he leaped out of bed
through the window he did stare
He said, 'Martha Jane, come and have a look,
the Penny Fair's over here!'

O Stan he hurried down the path
to see the awful sight -
When he brought her open
he knew she was all right;
He went out and spoke to Abe,
said: 'I don't know what to do,
So I'm going over on the wharf
and leave it up to you.'

O Abe he got out on the bridge
and he began to shout:
'Come off and get the skipper, boys,
I'll try to get her out.
He's going over on the wharf
and going to blow the horn -
And when he gets the warps ashore,
I'll give her a kick astern.'

O Stan got over on the wharf
and he spoke to Mr Reed
He tried to get the Penny Wise
but Reed give him no heed;
It didn't look so very nice
as it did blow and rain -
But ol' Abe he took her out of the cove
and he tied her up again.

Jack Lushman aboard the ferry,
he also went aground -
But he knew nothing about it
because he sleeped so sound;
And Leslie Cutter called him out,
he didn't know what to do,
He made a jump right out of the bunk
and he made right for his shoes.

Jack hurried up and dressed himself
and went upon the deck -
When he saw where they were at,
sure he could hardly speak;
O Leslie Cutter had to laugh
and Jack did laugh as well
'Cause how a man could sleep so sound
no one will ever tell.

Now to conclude and finish,
I know you'll all agree
In wishing success to the Penny Fair
and the Penny's company;
Likewise Captain Rossiter
and all his gallant men
May they load her up where'er they go
and bring her to port again.

####.... Blanche Pink [1939-2013] of Ramea, NL, 1970 ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from John S (Jack) Lushman, Sr [1940-?] of Ramea, NL, and published as #86 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.151-152, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this song was composed in 1970 by Blanche Pink [1939-2013] of Ramea, NL.

See more Lehr and Best songs.

From Camelot Sailing Glossary of Nautical Terms:
Warp - dockline for a ship.


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