The Ravenal (Lehr and Best)

Come all ye fellow countrymen
and listen to my tale
About a well-known trawler
her name the Ravenal;
'Twas late in January,
the weather being fair,
She left her own dear native port,
the Island of St Pierre.

Bound down on the Grand Banks
and this their every prayer,
To return again in ten days time
to their wives and sweethearts dear;
She left the Grand Banks early,
she soon got under way,
All hands being in a jolly mood,
they were going home that day.

She being a steel and sturdy boat,
her crew they had no fear;
The threatenings of a violent storm
was showing in the air.
The news was soon related
and we were shocked to learn,
[That] the boat due in at two o'clock,
she had failed to return.

Then very soon a search was formed
to search the ocean 'round,
But no sign of the Ravenal
or wreckage could be found;
They searched for sight both day and night
but nothing could be seen,
From Fortune into Lories,
from that to Lamaline.

Some wreckage now was sighted
and the search resumed once more,
Some of the Ravenal's wreckage
was found on Lorie's shore.
She may have struck a sunker,
but such things we'll never know;
We only know her eighteen men
died in the waters cold.

Never again will their footsteps tread
upon their homes so dear;
Never again will you see their faces
upon the Island of St Pierre.
But those that's left to mourn for them,
I hope will understand
That God is on the ocean
as well as on the land.

####.... Isaac Harris [1940-2004] of St John's, NL (see note below) .... ####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from the composer, Isaac Harris, of St John's, NL, and published as #92 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.160-161, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that the Ravenal was lost in 1963. Lehr also noted that the song was composed by Isaac Harris, son of Mr Moses (Uncle Mose) Harris [1911-?] of Lethbridge, Bonavista Bay, NL. He sings it to the air of The Schooner Marion Rogers.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Sunker - submerged rock over which the sea breaks; a sunken rock.

See more songs about NFLD shipwrecks.


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