The members of the Molloy family of St. Shott’s, Newfoundland, stand out among the singers recorded by MacEdward Leach for their agile, ornamented style of singing. Located at the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, St. Shott’s is known locally as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” for the large number of shipwrecks in the area. Leach recorded this local ballad in 1951.
The wind with fury it did blow that fatal Thursday morn,
They raised their mainsail and their jib for to ride out the storm,
But all in vain their tiny craft the fury could not stand,
And these brave heroes lost their lives while trying to make the land.
The bone and sinew of the land around Placentia Bay,
And on that wild and treacherous coast gave up their lives that day,
Like daring sons of Newfoundland all hardships they must stand,
At duty’s call in spring and fall their lives take in their hands.
It’s seldom do we have to tell of such a heavy toll,
All schooners lost upon that day with every precious soul,
Whilst empty boats turned bottom up and not a soul did save,
Some forty fishermen or more to meet a watery grave.
It is a hard and a trying blow for those who are left to weep,
The sole provider of the home sleeps quiet ’neath the deep,
The wives and orphans left to mourn; the widow’s only son,
Are also numbered with the dead; God’s will it must be done.
So let us pray for those away who on the sea must roam,
To guide them in their tiny crafts and send them safe at home,
And put your trust in providence who’ll always heed your prayer,
And give you strength and fortitude, your heavy cross to bear.
Source: Mike Molloy of St. Shott’s, Newfoundland, Canada
from Spinning Yarns,
released March 17, 2015
Norah Rendell on vocals and flute, Brian Miller on bouzouki and Dáithí Sproule on guitar.
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Norah Rendell is a consummate musician that specializes in the traditional folk
songs and dance music of Ireland and Canada. Norah was named "Best Vocalist of the Year" by the Live Ireland Awards in 2011 and 2012 and was nominated for "Best Traditional Singer of the Year" by the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2009....more