#01536 Print This Page
Come all you Newfoundlanders and listen unto me,
I'll tell you of the Jewel as she went down at sea;
On the 28th day of October last, right well I remember the day,
When we sheeted out our topsails, from Tilt Cove sailed away.
We had not long been sailing when it blew a heavy gale,
Our captain cried, "Go aloft, my boys, and clew up every sail."
The word was given, quite soon was done by ten brave seamen bold,
And they belonged to Newfoundland where the winter winds blow cold.
As we were lashed onto the pumps our hearts with fear did fret
To see our large fore-topsail yard come crashing through our deck;
Our captain he ran with an axe in hand to cut the yard away,
And we stopped our leaks with canvas that wild and stormy day.
We shipped a heavy sea, my boys, it washed away our boat,
We cut her clear of the wreck that day while the tempest loud did roar;
And we settled our thoughts on home and friends,
We may not see no more.
As we were lashed onto our pumps our hearts were filled with glee
To see a full-rigged ship, my boys, appearing under our lee;
We hoist a signal for distress, our Union upside-down,
When they put out their boats to save us for fear that she'd go down.
Oh, now we're on board the Albatross, from Greenland she did come,
Bound down to Philadelphia far from our native home;
And if ever I live to get home again I will go to work on shore,
And I'll tell the tale of the midnight gale and I'll go to the seas no more.
Collected in 1959 from George Decker of Rocky Harbour, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.948-949, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
Kenneth Peacock noted that this native ballad would appear to date from the sailing days of the nineteenth century.
The 52 ton schooner Jewel was constructed in Little Burnt Bay, an outport in Notre Dame Bay in 1877. The July 1, 1880 issue of the Twillingate Sun reported the Jewel was mastered by Thomas Knight and cleared for the Labrador Fleet by Messrs. Waterman & Co. The list of approved schooners represented a first rate line of schooners, many of them being nearly new, and all fitted to contend with the rough billows of the Labrador coast. According to the Northern Shipwrecks Database, the Jewel was wrecked October 28, 1891 at Gull Island in Conception Bay, between Tilt Cove and St John's. According to Shipwrecks Of Newfoundland And Labrador, Volume IV, by Frank Galgay and Michael McCarthy, the Jewel was lost near Burgeo, NL on July 10, 1917.
See more songs about Newfoundland and Labrador shipwrecks.