The Fisherman's Son To The Ice Is Gone
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(Sung to an ancient Irish air, The Moreen)

The fisherman's son to the ice is gone,
On the quarter deck you'll find him;
His belt and sheath he has girded on,
And his tow rope slung behind him.

The ice slacked off, we got our load,
Our good ship homeward steering;
Flushed with success our bosom glowed,
As St John's we are nearing.

Blow gentle breezes soft and clear,
O'er the bright blue waters;
And bring us to those that we love so dear,
Fair Terra Nova's daughters.

####.... Author unknown, but possibly written by Johnny Burke [1851-1930] (See notes below) ....####
This variant was printed in St John's in 1905 on pp.18-19 of Murphy's Sealers' Song Book and in 1925 on pp.7-8 of Songs Sung By Old Time Sealers Of Many Years Ago, both published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

An earlier variant was printed in 1900 on p.134 of The People's Songster, Buyers' Guide and Gems of Poetry and Prose, published by Johnny Burke and George T Oliver of St John's, giving rise to the possibility this song was written by Johnny Burke. (Shannon Ryan and Larry Small, Haulin' Rope & Gaff: Songs and Poetry in the History of the Newfoundland Seal Fishery, 1978.)

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Tow - number of sealskins with blubber attached, laced together and hauled over the ice by a rope.


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