The Susan (Lehr and Best)

See also the traditional ballad:
Loss Of The Schooner Susan On The Labrador

Ye daring sons of Newfoundland,
come listen unto me,
'Tis I'll relate that sad, sad news
that we record today,
The loss of four fine fishermen,
their friends will see no more,
Who lost their lives at Cutthroat
on the rugged Labrador.

The schooner left in early spring
the fishery to pursue,
Supplied with boats and fishing gear
manned by a hearty crew;
Her friends they bid a fond adieu
as they sailed out that day,
From their homes in Bonaventure
at the head of Trinity Bay.

The schooner named the Susan
with her crew from Newfoundland,
Sailed out of Bonaventure,
Captain Miller in command;
And at her destination she arrived
both strong and sound,
And soon her boats they did prepare
to try the fishing ground.

O when the voyage they did complete
and straight for home did sail,
The schooner met disasters
in the heavy north east gale;
The heavy seas rolled down on her,
rolled over hull and deck,
Those four brave youths from Trinity Bay
they went down in the wreck.

'Twas soon the news flashed over the wire
to say she was no more,
To say the Susan floundered
on the rugged Labrador;
The saddest news of all do come
that fills hearts with dismay,
The loss of four fine fishermen
belong to Trinity Bay.

Most every year the same sad news
from fishermen we hear,
To fill their homes with mourning
for the ones they did love dear;
May God their sorrow now make light
those loved ones left to weep,
For those brave hearty fishermen
is buried in the deep.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #103 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, p.178, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Mr Power learned this song from his father when he was a child.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

A variant was collected by Gerald S Doyle and published as Loss Of The Schooner Susan On The Labrador in Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, First edition, p.51, 1927.

Gerald S Doyle noted that he was unable to find out the exact date of the tragedy in these verses, but many readers would no doubt remember the occasion. The song, Doyle added, well illustrates the hardships and dangers faced by those who go down to the sea in ships.

See more songs about NFLD shipwrecks.


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