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Lyr Add: The Minstrel Boy goes sealing...

MartinRyan 20 Jun 12 - 01:29 PM
Desert Dancer 21 Jun 12 - 12:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Minstrel Boy goes sealing...
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Jun 12 - 01:29 PM

Picked up a book in Greenwich recently called "Haulin' Rope & Gaff :Songs and poetry in the history of the Newfoundland Seal Fishery" by Shannon Ryan and Larry Small. Among the songs is a rewrite of Thomas Moore's The Minstrel Boy, as follows:
            The Sealer Lad

The sealer lad from his home is gone
On board his ship you'll find him
His sheathed knife he has buckled on
And his clothes bag slung behind him
Frozen jam, said the hunter bold
My tongue shall ever praise thee
I long to tread thee once again
Tho' the venture hardly pays me

In days gone by when flint lock guns
Were reckoned things of beauty,
Ship load of harps meant a handsome bill
Now it scarce pay's Alfred's duty.
Still I long to tread the frozen pans
I yearn, the floe, to greet thee
On thy kind breast my whitecoats rest
When the steamships shall meet me

Ere the moon shall wane the sealer's heart
Will throb, I know, with pleasure
And the depth of fat on the young harps back
His hunting knife shall measure
No flag he'll plant on the frozen pans
He'll leave but blood-red patches
No more he'll pan to enrich the man
Of a thousand inky scratches

Reprinted from John Burke and George Oliver, THE PEOPLE'S SONGSTER, BUYER'S GUIDE AND GEMS OF POETRY AND PROSE (St. Johns: Burke and Oliver 1900)

Several more of the songs show Irish roots, unsurprisingly – but I reckon the above takes the (sea-)biscuit!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Minstrel Boy goes sealing...
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Jun 12 - 12:36 PM

Yow, that's a find! Times have changed, eh?

~ Becky in Tucson

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