The blockhouse flag is up today to welcome home the stranger,
And Stewart's house is looking out for Barbour in the Ranger;
But Job's are wishing Blandford first who never missed the patches,
He struck them on the twenty-third and filled her to the hatches.
And Bowring too will bet a few on Jackman in the Howler,
The little Kite she bore in sight with Billy Knee the Jowler;
The first of the fleet is off Torbay, all with their colours flying,
The girls are busy starching shirts and pans of beefsteaks frying.
We left you see with Billy Knee, bound home with colours flying,
And were forced to stay at Trinity Bay, two weeks or more there lying;
Though short of grog, still lots of prog to bring us home quite hearty,
Each Trinity Dove fell wild in love with Walsh and Luke McCarthy.
Oh, in the spring the flippers bring to lawyers, clerks or beagle,
We fought brave Neptune up and down and carried home the Eagle;
Though some may sing of lords or kings, brave heroes in each battle,
Our boys for fat, would gaff and bat, and make the whitecoats rattle.
They kill their foe at every blow (was Waterloo much grander?)
To face, who could, an old dog hood, like a plucky Newfoundlander;
We danced on shore in Bremner's store, the Darling girls were dancers,
Jemina Snooks our boys would hook at every set of lancers.
I felt afraid of the fuss they made of each confounded villain,
I thought the floor would leave the store at the Trinity Bay Cotillion;
Don't talk to me of balls or sprees, you never saw such a party,
That time on shore at Bremner's store, made all feel good and hearty.
For at a dance no girls can prance, nor dress in style more grander,
For an Irish reel that takes the heel to please a Newfoundlander;
So here's success to Susie Bess and girls from all outharbours,
For a kiss set in on a sealer's chin which never saw the barber.
####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####
Also published on pp.9-11 of Songs Of Newfoundland, a complimentary booklet of lyrics to twenty-one songs distributed by the Bennett Brewing Co. Ltd., of St. John's, NL, with the cooperation of the Gerald S. Doyle Song Book from which these lyrics were obtained.
The YouTube video above features a recording of a variant by Omar Blondahl (A Visit To Newfoundland With Omar Blondahl, trk#5, 1958, Rodeo International, Mount Albert, Ontario); and (The Great Seal Hunt Of Newfoundland - Songs Of The Sealers, trk#5, 1959, Banff-Rodeo, Halifax, Nova Scotia, distributed by London Records of Canada, Montreal, Quebec).
Also recorded by Alan Mills (Folk Songs Of Newfoundland, trk#16, 1958, Folkway Records and Service Corp., New York, NY).
The YouTube video below features a recording by John White (Come All Ye Home To Newfoundland, trk#14;, 1966, RCA Victor, specially commissioned by the Millers of Five Roses Flour for the celebration of Come Home Year).
From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English: Bat - to kill or stun a seal by striking with a club; to gaff. Dog Hood - very dangerous, breeding-age, male hood seal. Flipper - fore-limb of a seal, used to propel the animal in the water or on the ice; especially as prepared for eating. Gaff - to kill or stun a seal with a blow from the sealer's iron-shod club or gaff; to bat. Outharbour - bays or harbours other than the chief port of St. John's; the inhabited coastal strip or settlement of such an inlet of the sea; outport. Patches - concentrations of harp or hood seals on the ice-floes, usually for purposes of breeding, whelping or moulting. Prog - food for a meal or lunch; victuals, grub or winter supplies. Whitecoats - young harp seals with white fur, soon shed, hunted for their blubber.