Fight In Halifax (Johnny Burke)

A terrible fight in Halifax
on Saturday night took place,
Between some Newfoundlanders
and some Haligonian race;
The men were working on the roads
when some dispute arose,
That ended in a fearful row
and came to heavy blows.

Some old time grudge they had it out
that morning on the street,
And each man for his country
fought hard his man to beat;
A terrible scene while it did last,
and blood was flowing free,
The greatest fight in Halifax
the human eye could see.

For four hours the fighters held the town,
as each man's blood was hot,
And many an ugly blow or kick
some poor unfortunate got;
Pickaxes and shovels came
on many a fellow's head,
Or stretched out from a heavy blow
till nearly left for dead.

The men were working on the roads
when the ructions did begin,
The lads from Newfoundland, of course,
a hand they should take in;
They fought with pickets and shovels,
and at each other flew,
Till people got bewildered
and scarce knew what to do.

The police arrived upon the scene
as picks were lifted high,
And many a sore and aching head,
and many a closed up eye;
When all was quiet and peace restored,
but what side came out best?
Of course, the papers didn't state,
so you can guess the rest.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.38, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke

From Wiktionary:
Haligonian - of, from, or pertaining to the city of Halifax, NS, Canada.
Ruction - noisy quarrel or fight; a ruckus; brawl, disturbance, fracas, row, uproar.


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