Skipper Dan (Lehr and Best)

It's for the old Tiger, she's trimmed up again,
She's on the south-side with her bow broken in,
Her canvas tied up, and the men on the yard,
And the captain below with the mate playing cards.
Laddie fol-da diddle lair-o, fol-lair-al-o-dee.

It was on a Sunday evening I went aft again,
To borry some money from old Skipper Dan;
"I'll give you no money for 'feard you'd get drunk,
So you'd better go for'ard and turn into your bunk."
Laddie fol-da diddle lair-o, fol-lair-al-o-dee.

"I don't give a damn whether you gives it or not,
For in my old clothes-bag some rags I have got;
A pair of old shucks I've tied to my bunk,
And if rags can buy liquor this night I'll be drunk."
Laddie fol-da diddle lair-o, fol-lair-al-o-dee.

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland song ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1976 from Moses (Uncle Mose) Harris [1911-?] of Lethbridge, Bonavista Bay, NL, and published as #97 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, p.168, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that no doubt more verses do exist, but Uncle Mose could only remember the three here. Although they had tried to include the more complete variants of songs, sometimes all that remains is a fragment - in this case, the song is of local composition and not well known. These few verses, they hope, may assist the memory of someone who may have one time known it. Mr Pius Power recalls men older than himself, or the 'old people,' singing it, and that the chap in the song who wanted to get drunk did succeed in a St John's public house called Strang's. Lehr also noted that there was a sealing ship called the Tiger, which came to Newfoundland in 1878 and was lost in the Gulf of St Lawrence on 19 March 1884. This could possibly be the same ship, since sealing ships tied up on the south-side of the harbour where firms such as Job Brothers and Bowring's had their warehouses and processing plants. This song, then, Lehr concluded, would have been composed between 1878 and 1884.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Shuck - bottom or foot of a long rubber boot with the leg cut off.


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