The Land God Gave To Cain
(Labrador Black Spruce) MIDI, video

See also: The Land God Gave To Cain
(Pat and Joe Byrne)
#2363: YouTube video by gdgest
©2013 ~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

For years the men of Newfoundland,
those fishermen so poor,
They came each year in the springtime
for to fish on the Labrador;
But soon the fish they were all gone,
and the fur it was the same,
And the Natives suffered silently
in the land God gave to Cain.

Well, the years went by and,
as time passed the companies moved in,
Ore and wood and hydro power
expansion did begin;
And the jet planes soar,
they dive and roar low level o'er the ground,
And the caribou no longer pass
for fear of that deadly sound.

Way out in Western Labrador
the jobs are growing thin,
For thirty years the ore's come out
and nothing's gone back in;
Will we go the way of Schefferville
with a wasteland left in need?
They gave it back to the Native sons
in the land God gave to Cain.

O Labrador, O Labrador,
what does your future hold,
'Cause we never will return again
to those wilderness days of old;
To trap and hunt on the height of land
where the caribou's not the same,
We drove them north never to return
to the land God gave to Cain.
We drove them north never to return
to the land God gave to Cain.

####.... Pat and Joe Byrne and Clyde Rose to the traditional tune The Handsome Cabin Boy ....####
Originally recorded as The Land God Gave To Cain by Pat and Joe Byrne from Great Paradise with Baxter Wareham from Harbour Buffett, Placentia Bay, NL (Towards The Sunset, trk#12, 1983, Pigeon Inlet, St John's NL, recorded at Echo Music and Recording Ltd. Re-issued on CD in 2003).

This variant was rearranged and recorded by Labrador Black Spruce (Love Of The Land, trk#2, 1992, Black Spruce Music, Labrador City, NL, recorded at CBC Radio and produced by Glen Tilley).

A variant was also recorded by The Flummies (Labradorimuit, trk#14, 2000, World Replication Group, Toronto, ON, recorded at Sim's Studio in Belleoram, NL, and produced by The Flummies and Sim Savory).

From The Canadian Encyclopedia / The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada:
The Land God Gave To Cain - description used by French navigator and discoverer of the St Lawrence River Jacques Cartier [1491-1557] when he first sighted the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence (Labrador) in 1534. Cartier was presumably alluding to Genesis 4, in which Cain, having killed his brother, is condemned to till land that is barren.

Schefferville - region of Newfoundland and Labrador where the Iron Ore Company Of Canada established a town in 1954 to support the mining of rich ore deposits in the area. The original settlement was called Burnt Creek and was located some miles to the north of the current location of the town of Schefferville. When the plans were drawn up for the town, it was originally called Knob Lake after a prominent iron ore outcropping visible on a hill south of the town site, but the name Schefferville was adopted in honour of (Roman Catholic) Bishop Lionel Scheffer, who served as the Vicar Apostolic of Labrador from March 14, 1946, until his death on October 3, 1966. At the time of the town's founding, Innu from Maliotenam and Naskapi from Fort Chimo were resettled to Schefferville to assist with geological exploration work and the railway construction. Following many years of neglect and destitute poverty, in 1968 parts of the town were set aside for them as a reserve. By 1972, housing units had been built, and most of the Naskapi and Innu moved to this new site, known today as Matimekosh Reserve. At its peak in the late 1960s, Schefferville counted some 5,000 residents. But iron ore mining ceased there in 1982, on orders from the then president of the Iron Ore Company, Brian Mulroney, who later became Prime Minister of Canada. Most of the 4,000 or so non-aboriginal occupants left, leaving mostly aboriginal people who settled there in the preceding 30 years. In 1986, the town even ceased to exist as an incorporated legal entity, but this decision was reversed in 1990. Some houses and public facilities were demolished, while other parts of the infrastructure were added to the Matimekosh Reserve. Many of the remaining houses in the town are used by companies in the iron industry to house their staff.


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