Harbour Le Cou (Dick Nolan)
See also: Harbour Le Cou (Ryan's Fancy)
#605: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

As I rowed ashore from me schooner close by,
A girl on the beach I chanced to espy:
Her hair it was red, and her bonnet was blue,
And her place of abode it was Harbour Le Cou.

Oh, boldly I asked her to walk on the sand,
She smiled like an angel and held out her hand;
While I buttoned me guernsey
and I hove 'way me chew,
In the dark rolling waters of Harbour Le Cou.

My ship she lay anchored far out on the tide,
As I strolled along with me maid at my side;
I told her I loved her, she said I'll be true,
And I winked at the moon over Harbour Le Cou.

As we walked on the sands at the close of the day,
I thought of my wife who was home in Torbay;
Well, I knew that she'd kill me if she only knew,
I was courting a lassie in Harbour Le Cou.

As we passed a log cabin that stood on the shore,
I met an old comrade I'd sailed with before;
He treated me kindly sayin', Dick, how are you?
It's seldom I see you in Harbour Le Cou.

And as I was parting, this maiden in tow,
He broke up my party with one single blow;
Sayin', regards to your missus
and your wee kiddies, too,
I remember her well, she's from Harbour Le Cou.

Well, I looked at this damsel a-standing 'longside,
And her jaw it dropped, her mouth opened wide;
And then like a she-cat upon me she flew,
And I fled from the furies of Harbour Le Cou.

Come all you young sailors who walk on the shore,
Beware of old comrades you sailed with before;
Beware of the maiden with the bonnet of blue,
And the pretty young damsels of Harbour Le Cou.

####.... Written by Jack Dodd [1902-1978] of Torbay, NL, but the theme is considered by many to be a variant of a British broadside ballad, To Hear The Nightingale Sing, [Laws P14] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

This variant was arranged and recorded by Dick Nolan (I'se The B'y What Catches Da Fish, trk#6, 1966, Arc Sounds, Ltd, Toronto, Ontario).

See more songs by Dick Nolan.

A variant was sung in 1950 by Jim Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Ray, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A similar variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1951 from Bill Brennan of Stock Cove, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.198-199, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (Third edition, p.26, 1955).

Also published on p.7 of Songs Of Newfoundland, a complimentary booklet of lyrics to twenty-one songs distributed by the Bennett Brewing Co Ltd, of St John's, NL, with the cooperation of the Gerald S Doyle Song Book.

A variant was recorded as Harbour Le Cou by Ryan's Fancy (Ryan's Fancy Live ©1975, Audat Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

Also recorded by Anchors Aweigh (When Sailors Sing, trk#10, 2002, Independent, WE Music Studio, Cormack, NL).

See more songs by Anchors Aweigh.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Guernsey - also gansey or garnsey; heavy, closely-knit pull-over sweater worn by fishermen and sealers.


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