The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #170990   Message #4135796
Posted By: Joe Offer
08-Feb-22 - 02:36 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The H'emmer Jane
Subject: ADD Version: The H'emmer Jane

The H'Emmer Jane (Omar Blondahl)

See also: The H'Emmer Jane (Edith Fowke)

Now 'tis of a young lady this story I'll tell,
And of her young lover and what them befell;
Now her lover been a captain
that sailed the blue sea,
And these here be the circumstances
'tending the departure of he.

The vessel he sailed on
were called the H'Emmer Jane,
'Twere in honour of she that he gave her that name,
So that when he been sailin' all over the sea,
The wind in the riggin' would remind him of she.

With a boatload of shingles
this here captain sailed away,
Sailed away from his true love
all on a summer's day,
And he ne'er more been heard of,
nor his vessel so brave,
So ye could figgered pretty generally
that he'd met a watery grave.

Every cold, stormy evening all down by the sea,
H'Emmer Jane sot awaiting, sot awaiting for he;
One cold, stormy morning her body been found,
So it was figgered pretty generally
that she got crazy and drowned.

They buried her out in the old buryin' ground,
And they thought up a headstone
tellin' how she been found;
And close by the headstone they sot a willer tree,
So the wind in the willers would remind him of she.

Not very long after these here things had occurred,
A stranger come to town where
H'Emmer Jane been interred,
And he axed of the sexton,
where H'Emmer Jane might be,
And he answered by pointin' to the old willer tree.

The very next morning alongside H'Emmer Jane,
They found his cold carcass, insensible a-layin';
And in his vest pocket were a handkerchief of her'n,
So it was figgered pretty generally
'twas the captain's return.

They laid his cold carcass in a grave close by her,
And over his head they sot up a wild brier;
Now the wind in the willer is the same as the sea,
And the wild brier twisting 'round it
is in memory of she.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a broadside ballad published in 1941 by Golden Hind Press (Madison, NJ) which notes that Emmer Jane is a folk song from the south shore of Newfoundland here printed for the first time. ...####

This variant recorded by Omar Blondahl [Sagebrush Sam] (Songs Of Sea And Shore, trk#4, 1959 LP, Arc Sound Ltd, Toronto, ON).

Also published on p.105 of Newfoundlanders, Sing!: A Collection Of Favorite Newfoundland Folk Songs compiled by Omar Blondahl and published for Robin Hood Flour Mills (E J Bonnell Associates, St John's, NL, 1964).

See more songs by Omar Blondahl.

A variant was also sung by Clyde Gilmour and published as #50, The H'Emmer Jane, by Edith Fowke (editor) with Keith MacMillan (music consultant) on p.153 of The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, (1973). Gilmour heard the song in Newfoundland from a lumberman.

GEST notes that the word 'sot' appears several times in the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English, usually within quotations which serve as examples of usage for defined words. The word itself is obscurely defined on page two of the Introduction to the Dictionary. It is used in this song as the past tense of the verb 'sit' and 'set' spoken with a Newfoundland dialect.

GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador