The Fishermen Of Newfoundland
(The Good Ship Jubilee) (Johnny Burke)

See also: The Flemmings Of Torbay
(James Murphy)

And also: The Flemings Of Torbay
(MacEdward Leach)

Those thrilling tales we heard last week,
it's in our mem'ry yet,
Two fine young men born in Newfoundland
snatched from the jaws of death;
Two fine young men born in Torbay
went adrift in an angry sea,
Drove from the schooner Jubilee
on the eighteenth of April.

They lived to prosecute their v'yage
on Grand Banks' stormy shore,
Where's many a hardy fisherman
that never returns no more;
Tossed on those seas all those long days,
and bitter was each night,
No friend to speak a kindly word,
no sail to wave in sight.

For twelve long days and twelve long nights
these two poor fellows lay,
To gaze on sky and water
throughout each dreary day;
For twelve long days and twelve long nights
these two poor brothers lay,
With swordës strook of hunger,
no water, no, nor food.

Till at last a vessel hove in sight
and saw the floating speck,
The Jessie Maris was her name,
coal-laden from Quebec;
An hour or more, while winds did roar,
the Jessie sailed around,
To see if any tidings of the dory could be found.

The crew all standing in the bow,
all anxious for to hail,
When the captain spied her in the fog
just aft our windward rail.
The jolly-boat that hung astern
of good old oak did stand;
The ropes were then put 'round her
and downward she was lowered.

Two tough old seamen manned the oars
and at their work did go,
The captain standing in the bow
to take the boat in tow;
He took those two poor boys on board,
he nobly done his part,
He watched them with a mother's care,
he done a mother's part;
He sove the lives of those poor boys
with a kind and tender heart.

The first one spoke, it was Peter,
the eldest of the two,
He told the captain who they were,
part of the Jub'lee's crew,
And how in April on the Bank
by chance got drift away,
And lied exposed in an open boat
for many a dreary day.

Long live the Jessie's gallant crew,
likewise her captain bold!
His name shall be recorded
in letters of bright gold.
May God now send them happiness
in every port they lay!
And the plucky b'ys that manned the oars
were the Flemmings of Torbay.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] ....####
See more songs by Johnny Burke.

This variant published on pp.50-51 of Old Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland, 2nd Ed, 1940, printed by the publishers of The Family Fireside for Gerald S Doyle, St John's. Doyle noted that this variant was sung in 1929 by Daniel W Endacott [1875-1940] of Sally's Cove, NL, and published as #141 on pp.285-287 of Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf [1895-1980] and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).

A variant was collected from a recitation by Charles Dawe [1875-1957] of Flatrock, NL, and published as The Flemings Of Torbay in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was printed in St John's in 1905 as The Flemmings Of Torbay on pp.14-16 of Murphy's Sealers' Song Book published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

Two variants were also collected by Kenneth Peacock, one in 1952 from Gordon Willis [1911-2001] of St John's, and another in 1959 from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL. Both were published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.912-915, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected in 1950 from Gordon Connely of Glen Haven by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and published in Maritime Folk Songs, (Ryerson Press, Toronto, ON 1962).

Note: The Halifax Evening Mercury reported this event on May 31, 1888. The legs of both men were amputated in Quebec.

Additional notes excerpted from Off The Banks, Tales Of Heroism, Suffering And Peril by Patrick McGrath published in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly and on page 2 in Issue 7872 of the newspaper, The Star, Christchurch, NZ, 28 Nov, 1903:
The trawler Jubilee left St John's on April 10, 1888. Peter Fleming was 43 years old with 9 years experience in bank fishing. Edward was 37 and on his first trip to the banks. Eight days later, while Peter and Edward were at the trawl, a sudden fog shut out the vessel. They were rescued by the barque Jessie Morris, built in 1872 in Halifax, NS, under command of Captain Farley[sic]. It was laden with coal for Quebec from North Shields, a town on the north bank of the River Tyne, in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, in North East England. On June 1, the Fleming brothers had both feet amputated some inches above the ankle at the Marine Hospital in Quebec. Public subscription was set to provide them with artificial limbs, and they both became farmers after their ordeal.

From Dictionary.com:
Strook - simple past tense and past participle of strike


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