The Fisherman's Son To The Ice Is Gone (Traditional) lyrics
(Sung to an ancient Irish air, The Moreen)
The fisherman's son to the ice is gone,
On the quarter deck you'll find him;
His belt and sheath he has girded on,
And his tow rope slung behind him.
The ice slacked off, we got our load,
Our good ship homeward steering;
Flushed with success our bosom glowed,
As St. John's we are nearing.
Blow gentle breezes soft and clear,
O'er the bright blue waters;
And bring us to those that we love so dear,
Fair Terra Nova's daughters.
####.... Author unknown, but possibly written by Johnny Burke [1851-1930] (See notes below) ....####
This variant was printed in St. John's in 1905 on pp.18-19 of Murphy's Sealers' Song Book and in 1925 on pp.7-8 of Songs Sung By Old Time Sealers Of Many Years Ago, both published by James Murphy [1867-1931].
An earlier variant was printed in 1900 on p.134 of The People's Songster, Buyers' Guide and Gems of Poetry and Prose, published by Johnny Burke and George T. Oliver of St. John's, giving rise to the possibility this song was written by Johnny Burke. (Shannon Ryan and Larry Small, Haulin' Rope & Gaff: Songs and Poetry in the History of the Newfoundland Seal Fishery, 1978.)
From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English: Tow - number of sealskins with blubber attached, laced together and hauled over the ice by a rope.