Confederation Song (Arthur R Scammell) video
#1171: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

For centuries our island home
fought economic games,
Like a fishing schooner bearing up
against the wind and tide;
We lacked the fish and crew
and power to work the ship and sails,
And the giant rolling combers
kept breaking overside.

But just as hope was waning
and our strength was well nigh spent,
We got a tow from Britain
in the evening dark and grey;
She had lost her top main staysail,
and when her foremast went,
She signaled that she'd have to
slip our towline any day.

Now Canada was standing by
in case we needed aid,
We were making heavy weather
as the tempest howled and roared;
We called all hands together,
and the next tack that we made,
Skipper Joey luffed her up
alongside and hove a line aboard.

We heard a shout of welcome
from the ship's crew up ahead,
As the line came straight and taut
we saw a fair gone break;
The good ship Canada sailed on
with all her canvas spread,
And we found the going smoother
as we travelled in her wake.

As fellow Newfoundlanders watched
from countries near and far,
Our sturdy little vessel
ploughing bravely on her way,
Right knowingly they judged the strain
on every rope and spar,
As proudly off her weathered bow
she tosses sheets of spray.

For ears tuned to familiar sounds
can hear the famous cries,
The eyes of love can conquer space,
can pierce the darkest night;
High on the hearth's horizon
they see her topsails rise,
They recognize her flying jib,
they glimpse her guiding light.

And though a little fog blows up
to close us in at times,
Our schooner still is shipshape,
she's well and truly manned;
And when we've shipped our dories
and stowed our fishing lines,
The confederation cable
should help us reach the land.

####.... Arthur R Scammell (1940) ....####
Recorded by Arthur R Scammell (My Newfoundland, trk#1, 1974, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario).

Liner Notes by Arthur R Scammell:
I wrote most of these songs and verses many years ago when I was growing up in a Newfoundland outport - Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay.

See more songs by Arthur R Scammell.

From the American Meteorological Society Glossary:
Comber - large wave that rolls over or breaks on a beach, reef, etc.

From the Seatalk Nautical Marine Sailing Dictionary:
Luff - To turn gradually toward the eye of the wind so that the sails begin to take air on the lee side and shake. When luffing, the boat eases and slows, allowing crew to take down sails or make quick repairs.


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