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Lyr Add: The Great Sealing Disaster of 1914

DigiTrad:
SONG TO THE SEALS


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GUEST,Bedridden Barry on Sis's latop 04 Apr 01 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,me again 04 Apr 01 - 02:59 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Apr 01 - 03:20 PM
catspaw49 04 Apr 01 - 03:32 PM
MMario 04 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM
katlaughing 04 Apr 01 - 03:58 PM
gnu 04 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM
Bert 04 Apr 01 - 04:23 PM
MMario 04 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM
gnu 04 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM
SINSULL 04 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM
katlaughing 04 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 04 Apr 01 - 05:34 PM
mousethief 04 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM
Jeri 04 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Apr 01 - 06:24 PM
raredance 04 Apr 01 - 06:55 PM
Jeri 04 Apr 01 - 06:57 PM
Wendy_ 04 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Bedridden Barry on Sis's laptop 04 Apr 01 - 09:30 PM
Gypsy 04 Apr 01 - 10:21 PM
Wolfgang 05 Apr 01 - 04:14 AM
Bert 05 Apr 01 - 12:49 PM
Wolfgang 05 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM
Wendy_ 05 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM
Willie-O 05 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 12 - 09:32 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT SEALING DISASTER OF 1914
From: GUEST,Bedridden Barry on Sis's latop
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 02:58 PM

While being coop up in the hospital I finished up a rough draft of a song I've written. Any comments any would like to toss out would be helpful. I've no tune yet so I'll have to be working at that soon eough. Thanks Barry.

THE GREAT SEALING DISASTER OF 1914

My name it is George Tuff, I hunt on the Living Ice,
I survived the Greenland Tragedy though 48 had lost their lives,
That was 16 years ago, away back in 98,
Though up till this last hunt, my boys, I never cursed my fate.

We were crew aboard the Newfoundland & held in the grip of ice,
Still the day was very pleasant, the wind breathed no breath of life,
Wes Keene our young commander sent us out on to the pack,
To hunt the precious whitecoat & seek help & bring it back.

We found a small herd of seal we were about 3 hours out,
When a spring breeze from the southeast blew, in some it caused alarm,
On just a pleasant day as this, 16 years now gone by,
No weather eye had seen the change that raised many a mournful cry.

We were 8 score & 16 sealers when 50 turned around,
Not one step further would they take out on that icy sound,
The rest pushed onward 6 more hours till we reached the flag ship of the fleet,
Old man Keene, young Wes's dad refused us food & drink.

T'was the very same night the Bemoth's crew spent the night upon the floe,
They espied a one horned beast howling at them through the snow,
When Captain Billy Windsor heard this tale he kept his crew close by,
Where the Lawrence meets the Gulf all heed strange winter skies.

Across the Gulf the older wooden fleet met the fury of the blow,
For safe shelter of deep bays they ran through howling wind & blinding snow,
But the Southern Cross loaded deep with pelts chose to run before the storm,
She made it past Cape Race, my boys, but she never made it home.

Young Wes took comfort in the thought we were aboard the Stepheno,
With no wireless he was unaware we were set back out on the floe,
With no cup of tea to warm our gut, no heavy coat on our backside,
Worst the thought of being sent back out were the thoughts of how we'd die.

Some fell through the broken pack & some laid down to die,
Others crawled on hands & feet gone black, still others sat & cried,
50 sealers from the ice were saved, most were maimed for life,
Near 80 souls had past on through those 2 nights on the ice.

The captains all were ordered still, to keep on with the kill,
But mutiny spread about the fleet, no hunter had the will,
As news had spread throughout the Gulf that our lives weren't worth a skin,
The seal skin trade, it died that night with 250 men.

The owners of the sealing fleets knew with the war coming on along with the competition of more modern foreign fleets & the use of oils from cheaper sources & the reduction in the whitecoat population that this year would be the last of the great hunts. Ships were stripped of valued aids like their wireless's, The older wooden fleet got no much needed maintenance before putting out & some skippers had very little experience but had the pull. All of these events amounted to this being the death of this industry though it still continued on a much smaller scale from time to time. Again thanks for any comments. Barry

line breaks added, hopefully in the right spots
great song, Barry!
okay, let me know if that is right now, for line breaks, please
and, I changed it to "unaware"
joe clone


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: GUEST,me again
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 02:59 PM

That should've read 1914


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 03:20 PM

Shows promise. Wonder what the tune is? A song wothout a tune is like Leonard Cohen.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 03:32 PM

Looks pretty good at this point Barry.....A couple of awkward scans, but it depends on the tune (cute line there Dick). Good work and I can see you are filling the time in some productive ways too.

BTW....When I read the thread title, being an airplane junkie, I thought, "What's up here? Sealing Disaster?"...as in sealing the disaster of Flight 191. 191 is not a great airline number....two major crashes in the past 25 years!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: MMario
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM

Hope something comes to him, tunewise. I can practically hear one - but it's probably not what Barry hears... I find it a hair rough (that's not a criticism, I couldn't do anywhere near as well) but a lot of lyrics that don't read smoothly when you don't know the tune smooth out when you do know the tune and cadance of the song.

Seventh verse - was young Wes "aware" or "unaware"?

I keep wanting to read it as "With no wireless he was unaware we were back out on the floe."


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 03:58 PM

That's what I thought, too, Spaw; some government coverup, sealign the victims in forever, all hush-hush!**BG**

Nicely done, Barry!


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: gnu
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM

Yeeesss bye ! You gots 'er knocked, son !

I think there's another "Northwest Passage" here.

excitedgnu


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Bert
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:23 PM

Don't worry about the scanning Spaw, that will get straightened out as soon as Barry fits a tune to it.

Good story Barry, a bit long though. Still, you knew I was going to say that, did'nt you? *GRIN*
Tell you what, seeing as you've got 'lots' of time on your hands. Try telling the same story in only five verses and see if it sounds any stronger.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: MMario
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM

it could be tightened up without really ruining anything by dropping out verses 3, 5 and 6.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: gnu
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM

Then you can re-release it with the new, uncut version some time later.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM

Sealing Distaster???? New meds Barry? Great song but I am reserving judgment until I can hear you belt it out at our next meeting.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:56 PM

Geez, you guys'd never do herding cattle for a whole night...you'd run out of verses! They wanna hear every single verse of Little Joe the Wrangler, etc...not some reader Digest condensced!**BG**


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 05:34 PM

Love a big ballad! The standard tune I keep hearing is "The Range of the Buffalo" which works well for scanning purposes. My tinkering suggestions is for this verse:

We found a small herd of seal we were about 3 hours out,
When a spring breeze from the southeast blew, in some it caused alarm,
On just a pleasant day as this, 16 years now gone by,
No weather eye had seen the change that raised many a mournful cry.

Changes:

We found a small herd of seal, we were 3 hours out,
When a spring breeze blew in from the southeast, in some it caused a doubt,
On just such a pleasant day, now 16 years gone by,
No weather eye had seen the change that raised many a mournful cry.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM

Dick Greenhaus: LOL! Thank you!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM

Young Wes took comfort in the thought we were aboard the Stepheno,
With no wireless he was aware we were set back out on the floe,
With no cup of tea to warm our gut, no heavy coat on our backside,
Worst the thought of being sent back out were the thoughts of how we'd die.

That last line confuses me a bit. Is it: "Worse?" May be clearer if:
"Worse, the thought of being send back out led to thoughts of how we'd die."
or:
"Worse, the thought of being send back out and the thoughts of how we'd die."

The tune I'm hearing in my head...well, I'm not sure, but I think it might be used for Captain Coulston. The one in the DT isn't the one I'm thinking of, though. Definitely starts with "Come all you..."

It's sorta, kinda like Ben Hall. Can't wait to hear Barry sing it, though.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:24 PM

Great lyrics, Barry! And good to see you in good enough spirits to write songs.
Hope you don't mind me saying I'm rather glad this large-scale slaughter has more or less come to an end. Even what I read about the modern remnants of it from time to time is gruesome enough to make me join Greenpeace. I accept people have to earn a living, but do they have to be so inordinately cruel to fellow creatures in the process? (Question not confined to sealing ...)


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: raredance
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:55 PM

fine fine story. "the wind breathed no breath of life" line didn't make sense to me until I got down to the middle. I had an image of suffocating that made no sense. I don't know sealing, is "herd" the proper collective for seals? I usually think of it applying to herbivores.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:57 PM

...of course, I meant "sent" up there.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Wendy_
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM

Great lyrics.

Got me interested enough to go read more about it. The account in your song differs some from what I read elsewhere, specifically here . Now, I'm not suggesting that this site has more authority than you. (It looks like it might be a student's project to me. Plus the spelling is not all it could be. "Newfoundlander's bargained for their births aboard the sealing ships each spring...") But I am wondering, is the song meant to be historically accurate?

Wendy


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: GUEST,Bedridden Barry on Sis's laptop
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for the incoming feedback, please keep it coming, it's got to give a good picture to be a good song, to many unanswered questions defeats the telling of the tale. Yes Bert, I knew I'd be breaking your 3 minute rule but you knew I wouldn't mind doing it anyway, I did have it mind (for about 3 minutes). Thanks for the link Wendy, my info comes fom a book called "The Living Ice" & pretty much holds true to the story as I read it. I believe the line there about births shuld be "berths". Abe Keene was know as one who'd rather take the shirt off your back than give up a morsel of bread. He did offer them tea though & did refused them any food. Try singing this to the tune of the Nightingale & let me know what you all think, it's still rough but it's got enough to bring out the ironing board. That should've read "unaware".
Thanks Joe Clone for the line breaks. The last 2 verses for some reasn are still unbroken, can you fix it. The song ends with "250 men". Thanks. Hi Jeri, I agree that's still a very rough spot about being sent back out upon the ice but it'll get there, thanks. Hi Dick, like the Len Cohen remark, he & one other singer always makes me think of when my son heard the other guy (I won't name him) & said, after hearing me talk about Mansfied's line about going do to the sea in ships, "going down to the sea to die". I generally do like to keep songs short but then I do like a big ballad too. There was a time when folks listened to stories lasting for hours. Take the "Mountain Whipperwill", told well I could listen to it over & over, again & again, it's just gotta be a good enough story, told real well & sweet enough for the ear to want to hear. That's a mighty big task though. Please do keep the comments coming. Thanks, Barry


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Distaster of 191
From: Gypsy
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 10:21 PM

Bosh to the 3 minute rule! Our shantyman would do great justice to this one, but it would go way over three minutes. Brilliant, just as it stands (wild applause)


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 04:14 AM

May I link to another song (with a tune) about that event:
The Greenland disaster

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Bert
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 12:49 PM

Ah! the 3 minute rule. Actually the REAL rule says 3 1/2 minutes, 4 at the outside. But my experience of songrwriters is that they ALWAYS overrun their allotted time - so I cut it back to 3 minutes.
It depends of course on your intended audience. If you regularly sing to folk who like long ballads, then a long ballad is what you write.

However, for the everyday audience, whose attention span is somewhat limited, then you don't want to go on for too long.

Next time you go to an open mike or a Singer/Songwriter session take a look at the audience when someone sings a long song. After a few minutes they start looking around, staring at the walls or the ceiling and generally wondering "When is he going to bloody finish".
I don't want people to be thinking that about MY songs.

And if you want a song to get any time at all on the radio, then you HAVE to keep it short. The only exception to this is if you're really famous and people come to listen to you and not to the song.

And as far as Kat's cattle are concerned they are in the latter category. The cowboy IS really famous to THEM and they just love to hear him sing, doesn't matter what he sings. (Babies are kinda like that too).

Trouble with cattle is that they don't buy very many CDs.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM

A link to a site about The Greenland Disaster giving an account of the story and the names of the ships and captains and dead and survivors.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Wendy_
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM

As I understand it, Wolfgang's site & song above are about an 1898 disaster involving the SS Greenland. Barry's song mentions that event, but focuses on the SS Newfoundland in 1914.

So, you could sing one and then the other.

According to the site Wolfgang gave above, poor George Tuff (the narrator of Barry's song) was only 17 when he survived the 1898 disaster.

I also came across this book by Abram Kean. The write up at that page gives some info on him.


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Subject: RE: Comment please, Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Willie-O
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM

Good job that Barry. Don't take out the verse about the Southern Cross.

I heard a radio play last year that was a fictionalized account of the life of Nfld premier Joey Smallwood, which put him on the scene of the 1914 disaster as a cub reporter who went with the fleet to do a story on the sealing...any idea if this is truth or fiction? Probably the latter.

Tough SOB's those Newf skippers.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Sealing Disaster of 1914
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 12 - 09:32 AM

Nice of the "Spam folks" to refresh this old thread by Barry Finn. No doubt the Spam post may be deleted but the thread should go on.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble (guest Roll & Go-C above)


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