Banks of Newfoundland

Oh you may bless your happy luck that lies serene on shore
Far from the billows and the waves that round poor sailors roar
For little we knew the hardships that we were obliged to stand
For fourteen days and fourteen nights on the banks of Newfoundland

Our good ship never crossed before these stormy western waves
And the raging seas came down on us and soon beat in her stays
She being of green unseasoned wood and little could she stand
When the hurricane came down on us on the banks of Newfoundland

We were starved and frozen with the cold when we sailed from old Québec
And every now and then we were obliged to walk the deck
We being all hardy Irishmen and our vessel did well man
And the captain doubled each man’s grog on the banks of Newfoundland

We fasted for three days and nights when provisions did run out
And on the morning of the fourth we cast a lot about
The lot it fell on the captain’s son and as you may understand
We spared his life for another night on the banks of Newfoundland

Then on the morning of the fifth he got orders to prepare
We only gave him one short hour to offer up a prayer
But providence proved kind to us and saved blood from every hand
When a full-rigged ship hauled into view on the banks of Newfoundland

When they took us from our wrecked ship we were more like ghosts than men
They fed us and they clothed us and they brought us back again
But many of our brave Irish boys never saw they native land
And the captain lost both legs from frost on the banks of Newfoundland

The number of our passengers was four hundred thirty two
There was none of them poor passengers could tell that tale but two
Their parents may shed bitter tears that’s on their native strand
Wild mountains of waves roll over their graves on the banks of Newfoundland

Submitted by Saskia

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