The Landfall Of Cabot Parody (Gerald S Doyle)

See also: The Landfall Of Cabot (Johnny Burke)

There's an argument unfinished
'twixt his lordship and the judge,
And the doctor takes a hand in
for to settle an old grudge;
It's about this Cabot landfall
they are making such a racket,
Some say he came as passenger
in Billy Coady's packet.

Some say 'twas Bonavista
he discovered after tea,
And more say 'twas Tommy Hawsays,
Bonavista's Sigaree.

"Sure I turned a coat for Cabot,"
says a woman on the settle,
"By the same he drank that evening
what cold tea was in the kettle;
And he eat enough pancakes
and pigs-heads in the larder,
For to feed the population
of Quebec and Moreton's Harbour.

"I remember well John Cabot
when he hadn't got a dollar,
And he used a wart was on his neck
to button on his collar;
And a shocking hand for smoking,
and a devil for tobaccy,
With a scattered foxey whisker
like an Upper Island cracky."

"I was to the ice with Cabot,"
says a man from Tilton Harbour,
"He was two springs in the Walrus
and another with Joe Barbour;
And another spring with Foley
in a schooner called the Blinker,
That's the spring the crew turned manus,
they said Cabot was a jinker."

"Sure I went to school with Cabot,"
says a man named Billy Brandon,
"It was called the Orphan Asylum
where St Patrick's Hall is standing;
He was duller than molasses,
and his tongue was like a clapper,
And his fingers were all broken
from the master's hardwood slapper."

"Sure I know John Cabot's mother,"
says a spinster named Kate Abbott,
"And her name is Patricia Morgan,
that's before she married Cabot;
I remember her three sisters:
Mary, Joe and Julia Johnson,
And another married Flavin
that was living in Wisconsin.

"I remembered well John Cabot,
in his younger days was a draper,
And the first that I remember
for to start a Sunday paper;
He was doing fine for one week,
and his business it was rising,
When the government had set in
and it stopped his advertising."

"I remember well John Cabot,"
says a woman from Seattle,
"Sure he worked two years at Pitt's
twisting tails and driving cattle;
And his father, old Sebastian,
came to live with Betsy Spooner,
And he'd drink enough of whisky
for to float a Yankee schooner."

####.... Author unknown. Parody of a ballad by Johnny Burke of St John's, NL [1851-1930] ....####
Published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (1st Ed, p.71, 1927).

Gerald Doyle noted that "during the time when the argument as to the correct landfall of Cabot was at its height, these verses appeared and created a great deal of amusement all over the Island. This song will be all the more appreciated now on account of the recent controversy in the newspapers on the subject."

Johnny Burke wrote the original song, The Landfall Of Cabot, in 1897.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

Note: John Cabot discovered Newfoundland in 1497.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Cracky - small, noisy mongrel dog; frequently in the phrase 'saucy as a cracky,' applied to a person who usually has a saucy tongue or a person who will answer back.
Foxey - reddish-coloured; sandy-haired; rufous.
Jinker - person (on a vessel) bringing bad luck; a Jonah.
Manus - any sealer who, by refusing to work, shall wilfully compel any master of a sealing vessel to give up the voyage; of one or more sealers, to refuse to work in order to force the captain to return to port; mutiny.
Settle - long, home-made wooden bench with arms and high back; an unupholstered couch; stretcher.


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