The John Martin (Gerald S Doyle) MIDI

See Also: (Song Of The John Martin)
(James Murphy)

Sung to the air: As I Roved Out One Morning.

Come all ye jolly fishermen agoing to the ice,
Oh, beware of the John Martin
and don't go in her twice;
For I was in her last spring
and I'll go in her no more.
If I cannot get a better berth,
I'd rather stay ashore.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

Good luck to skipper Nick Ash
for he is a clever man,
Sure, he spied the laddioes
ten miles in on the jam;
And following his council,
we struck a heavy patch,
And it wasn't very long before
we filled her to the hatch.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

He went up on the topsail yard
and he came down again,
And he looked in the binnacle
to see how was the wind;
And he says unto the skipper,
for you I've got good news:
Steer your course due north-north-east
and you'll strike the laddioes.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

It was down in the forecastle
that a hell of a row arose,
It was all about the boiling
of a kettle full of brewse;
The skipper he came forward
and he swore once or twice,
He took the kettle by the hangers
and he threw it on the ice;
I never felt so scalded since
the day that I was born,
When I saw my little piper
and it floating off astern.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

Are you going to tap your boots, Bill,
yes and that I am,
For tomorrow morning early,
we must face the frozen jam;
So go and put the kettle on,
and we'll have a bowl of tea,
For the weather bow tomorrow,
will be better than the lee.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

Now when we got into the jam
the swoiles were very thick,
And the skipper he came forward
with a junk of a stick;
He said you burned all my lasses
and you roasted all my pork,
So now you mortal sons o' guns,
I'm going to make you work.
With my ring to re la ring to lah rady oh.

####.... Stephen Reardon of Perry's Cove, NL ....####
Published by Gerald S Doyle in Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, 1st Ed, p.39, 1927.

Gerald S Doyle noted that these verses were composed in 1845 by Stephen Reardon of Perry's Cove, and they were very popular. The John Martin was a brig owned and commanded by John Bransfield of Carbonear. The Laddioes was a nickname given to the seals.

A similar variant was printed in St John's in 1925 as Song Of The John Martin on pp.6-7 of Songs Sung By Old Time Sealers Of Many Years Ago, published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher's Notes:
This vessel belonged to Carbonear. She was lost on her way from the Labrador to Carbonear in the fall of 1859. The name laddios is what the writer called the seals, which is mentioned in the second verse. The song was written in the early forties or therabout.

From Dictionary.com: Chary - cautious, careful or wary.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Brews(e); also brewis, broose, bruis, bruise, bruse - sea-biscuit or hard tack soaked in water and then boiled; such a dish cooked with salt cod and fat pork.
Jam; also jamb - impenetrable, tightly-packed field of salt-water floe-ice.
Junk - short log to fit a wood-burning stove or fire-place, often with back, fore or middle as qualifying word; billet.
Laddioes ; also laddios - ² young harp seals; whitecoats; bedlamers.
Lasses; also molasses, lassy, molassy - thick, dark or light brown syrup produced in the manufacture of sugar.
Piper - locally made galvanized tin kettle with bevelled sides, flat bottom and a long narrow spout or bib emitting a piping sound when it boils; bibby; quick; smut.
Swoile; also seal, sile, soil, swale, swile, swoil - any of the North Atlantic hair seals (family Phocidae) taken for the skin, used as leather, and the fat, rendered as oil; especially the harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata).
Tap - sole of a boot; used in phrase come to one's taps: get to one's feet.

From The American Heritage Dictionary:
Binnacle - nonmagnetic stand on which a ship's compass case is supported for use by a ship's helmsman.

From The Age Of Sail Ship & Shipbuilding Terminology:
Forecastle - originally a tower-like structure placed near the bow of a sailing warship on which soldiers stood and fought from during battle. Later the space between the short raised forward deck, pronounced focstle. Also a generic term for the living space of the crew in sailing vessels.
Lee - sheltered side; the side away from the wind.
Topsail - sail of a square-rigged vessel set on the topsail yard, normally the 2nd sail in ascending order from the deck.
Weather Bow - side of the bow (fore end of a vessel) toward the wind.
Yard - large horizontal spar tapered toward each end and fastened to the mast of a square-rigged vessel for the purpose of carrying a square sail.


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