To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
6 messages

Lyr Req: Cliffs of Baccalieu (from Stan Rogers)

16 Sep 00 - 11:29 AM (#298649)
Subject: rocks of baccalu
From: GUEST,brecklander

looking for the lyrics to this Stan Rogers song Thanks

16 Sep 00 - 11:51 AM (#298662)
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU (from S Rogers
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

I hope this is the song you are looking for mate. Yours, Aye. Dave
  C       C/G               C
We were bound home in October
From the shores of Labrador
Trying to head a strong Nor'Easter and snow too
But the wind swept down upon us
and the day was dark as night
Just before we made the land at Baccalieu.

Now we tried to clear the island
As we brought her further south
But the wind from out the Nor'East stronger blew
Till our lookout soon he shouted,
and there lay dead ahead
Through a snow squall loomed the rocks at Baccalieu.

But it was hard down by the tiller
As we struggled with the sheets
Trying our best to haul them in a foot or two
Till our deck so sharply tilted we could barely keep out feet
As we struggled on the rocks at Baccalieu.

Now the combers beat her under
I thought she ne'er would rise
And her main boom it was bending nigh in two
With her lee rails two foot under, three hands upon the wheel
Sure we hauled her from the rocks at Baccalieu.

To leeward was the island, to windward was the shore
And that blinding sleet could cut you through and through
but our hearts were beating gladly for no longer could we gaze
Down to leeward at the rocks of Baccalieu.

Hope this turned out ok I'm not used to posting the Chords with words (my first attempt) Joe will fix it I'm sure if its wrong.

16 Sep 00 - 12:36 PM (#298687)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: rocks of baccalu
From: Naemanson

I didn't ask for this song but I'm glad someone did. I love it and I especially appreciate seeing the chords. I never was much of a hand at transcribing chords by ear.

I hope you aren't from Maine, Brecklander, 'cause that's where I'll be singing it. On second thought, I hope you are so we can do the song together!

16 Sep 00 - 09:44 PM (#298993)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU (Jack Withers)^^
From: Vinland

The correct name of the song is "THE CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU". It was written by Jack Withers of Newfoundland in 1934. The version Dave quoted is probably from the Stan Rogers recording. The original version is as follows:

We were bound home in October from the shores of Labrador,
Trying to race a strong nor'easter and snow too;
But the wind came down upon us making day as dark as night,
Just before we made the land at Baccalieu.

We thought we'd make the island as we hauled her farther south,
As the gale from out the nor'east harder blew,
But the lookout quickly shouted, and there right dead ahead
Through the snow-squall loomed the land of Baccalieu.

It was hard down with the tiller and we struggled with the sheets,
Doin' our best to haul 'em in a foot or two,
And her deck soon sharply tilted 'till 'twas hard to keep your feet,
As we hauled her from the rocks of Baccalieu.

Oh, to leeward were the breakers and to win'ard was the gale,
The sleet and snow would cut you through and through;
With our lee-rail two feet under and two hands at the wheel,
We hauled her from the cliffs of Baccalieu.

The combers beat her under 'till we thought she'd never rise,
Our main-boom was buckling nigh in two,
And all hands clung to win'ard and stared with straining eyes
Down to leeward at the cliffs of Baccalieu.

Oh, we hauled her to the south'ard and our canvas stood the strain,
As the whistling snow-squalls from the nor'east blew,
But our hearts were beating gladly, for no longer could we gaze
Down to leeward at the cliffs of Baccalieu.
Stan does a fine job, but you might also enjoy Bristol's Hope version as sung by Anita Best.

A vocal/piano/guitar arrangement can be found in "Sing Around This One - Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador volume 2". Contact the publisher (me) for more info at:
or phone (709) 670-3377

(Sorry for the commercial - just trying to be helpful!)


05 Oct 21 - 10:12 AM (#4121915)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cliffs of Baccalieu (from Stan Rogers)
From: Waddon Pete

Sang this song on the Mudcat singaround on Monday. It has always fascinated me. A friend of mine who is a long distance sailor heard this song and said, "They were lucky! Not an easy thing to do!" I was looking on the net for information one time and found a lovely photo of fishermen of the time on board their boat all dressed up in flat caps and jackets and trousers! I think there was a tie there too somewhere. Clearly professional fishermen.

05 Oct 21 - 11:04 AM (#4121921)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cliffs of Baccalieu (from Stan Rogers)
From: pattyClink

Good song, and very well done by Pete.

And unique: a shipwreck song with a happy ending!