The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34   Message #4194376
Posted By: Robert B. Waltz
28-Dec-23 - 05:08 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: I've been a sea cook and I've been a ...
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I've been a sea cook and I've been a ...
Gibb Sahib wrote: Which begs the question of how Murphy would know that LeMussurier wrote it, 35 years prior. Something in a newspaper? Maybe. Or maybe everyone sees everyone in the pub in St. John's? Fewer than Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

The Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador Biography has a fairly long entry on LeMessurier. He spent a term (1885-1889) in the Newfoundland House of Assembly and edited the Evening Herald, which was one of the most important Newfoundland publications. I don't know that he published "The Ryans and the Pittmans" in the Evening Herald, since it didn't seem to be available online when I was doing my Newfoundland research, but the probability seems high -- most Newfoundland newspapers published a lot of poetry.

Newfoundland's population in this period was a few hundred thousand, but that almost doesn't mean anything. There were "baymen" and "townies," and ne'er the twain did meet. Saint John's had a population in the low tens of thousands -- so you're right: the Erdös number for any two Saint John's residents was probably about four.