We shipped with young Goodridge in the Spring of the year,
And we got thirty shillings to find our own gear,
Thirty shillings in hand and good tea in galore,
And four meals a day on the Huntingdon Shore.
On the fourteenth of June our two anchors we weighed,
And the orders for sailing was not long delayed;
Consigned unto Goodridge to Hunt and LeMore,
Who sends the men fishing on Huntingdon Shore.
The first night at sea we met a great squall,
We let go our royals, our topsails and all;
We shortened our sail, and we couldn't do more,
And then took our course for the Huntingdon Shore.
Men, women and children they lay on their backs,
While more in their bunks, they were straightened like sacks;
And more lay on boxes, their sides they were sore,
They longed to be landed on Huntingdon Shore.
'Twas early next morning, just at break of day,
We arose from our slumber and got underway;
Put bread in the cuddy and pork on the floor,
And shaped her for fishing on Huntingdon Shore.
We aimed aft the sheets and kept her full and by,
With the wind from the southwest as close as she'd lie;
Till we came to Hare Island, then straight way we bore,
And safely we anchored near Huntingdon Shore.
We put out our lines there, our luck there to find,
Every man in the boat sure for fish was inclined;
We cooked but three meals, but I'm sure we'd want more,
And then we hauled up and left Huntingdon Shore.
The girls on Round Island on us they did smile,
Saying here is young Cormack, young Keefe and young Doyle;
They are three great strangers on the Labrador,
Who have lately arrived up from Huntingdon Shore.
'Tis true I'm a toper, that's very well known,
If I saved what I earned I might live at home;
In drink and carousing I spent all my store,
Which makes me lament on the Huntingdon Shore.
####.... Composed by a fisherman named Doyle from Riverhead, St. John's, NL ....####
Gerald S. Doyle noted that this song is half a century old (c.1877) and was written by a St. John's fisherman named Doyle who was a native of Riverhead. Young Goodridge mentioned in the song was the pioneer of that thriving and extensive business, known until recently as the firm of Alan Goodridge & Sons. Huntingdon Shore is a famous fishing locality on the Labrador.
The YouTube video above features a variant recorded as The Huntingdon Shore by Omar Blondahl (A Visit To Newfoundland With Omar Blondahl, trk#10, 1958, Rodeo International, Ontario, distributed by London Records of Canada); and (16 Songs Of Newfoundland, trk#13, 1959, Banff-Rodeo, Ontario, distributed by London Records of Canada); and (Canadian Country Classics: Songs From The Rock, trk#13, 1997 Rodeo Records, Mt. Albert, Ontario).
An earlier variant was printed in 1923 on p.3 of Songs Their Fathers Sung, For Fishermen: Old Time Ditties, published by James Murphy [1867-1931].
Genevieve Lehr noted that The Huntingdown or Huntingdon Shore was a fishing area on the Labrador coast, and Goodridge's was one of the mercantile establishments of that period.
From the Maritime History On-Line Catalogue: Alan Goodridge & Sons - In the second half of the nineteenth century, Alan Goodridge & Sons was one of the most successful firms in Newfoundland. The firm expanded, eventually opening branches in Placentia Bay, Trinity Bay, Green Bay, St. Mary's Bay and Labrador. These included branch operations at Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Tors Cove, Ferryland, Calvert (Caplin Bay), Fermeuse, Renews, Nipper's Harbour and New Perlican. The Registry of Newfoundland Vessels reveals that the Goodridges were one of the largest vessel owners in that era, registering 197 vessels between 1834 and 1917. The firm was Newfoundland's second and third largest exporter of codfish in 1894 and 1895 respectively - 63,800 and 55,300 quintals. The firm's St. John's premises occupied an entire block, bounded on the east by Beck's Cove and Codner's Cove on the west.
From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English: Cuddy - cabin at the bow or stern of a small vessel or large boat for accommodation and provisions.
From the Naval Glossary Of Sailing Ship Terms: Royals - small extra sails mounted above the top-gallants to increase the sail area of a ship in an emergency in fair wind.