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Words to Old Newfoundland Songs
Heard Around the Bonavista Bay Region

 

 

The fight referred to in the following song occurred on the Labrador shore in the early 1900's. The Bawn is a place for spreading fish on used by the fishermen.

FANNY'S HARBOUR BAWN--BY MARK WALKER

As I roamed out one evening, in the lovely month of May,
Those verdant hills I rambled to view the distant bay.
The craft were flocking down the shore, and pleasant looked the day;
To my surprise a pair I spied which caused me to delay.

'Twas then I saw a young man embracing fondly
The person of a fair one that once was loved by me;
My heart with jealous motion felt eagerly the wrong,
Which caused this fearful contest on Fanny's Harbour Bawn.

I there addressed this young man, and unto him did say,
"Are you from Bonavista or are you from the Bay?
I think you are a northern man-a bay man, I presume,
So I pray to be gone all from the Bawn, or I'll boot you in your bloom."

He quickly made an answer, and this to me did say :
" I'm not from Bonavista, but I am from the Bay;
I do reside where storms and tide have swept down buildings strong,
Here in full glee from T. and C. to meet you on the Bawn.

He stood no hesitation, but struck immediately.
This damsel mild stood like a child, to witness the melee;
A pain then in my chest he caused before 'twas very long,
My person pucked and darling took on Fanny's Harbour Bawn.

He skinned my nose down my poor face as I instantly did rise,
And soon unto my eagle eye he joined a bunch of fives;
I lay there quite prostrated and lifeless on the Bawn,
And when I came to my senses, the Bayman he was gone.

Now when you meet with Northern men, you'll think they're somewhat green
You'll treat them with a scornful look as unfit to be seen;
You'll scoff them and rebuke them with a scolding tongue,
'Till them enrage and in a fight engage, then from bayman you will run.

I will not fail to tell the tale, nor yet my true-love's name,
Her name is Catherine Murphy ,and she l dwells in Roger's Lane;
And I'm a youth from Carbonear, once loved by her, I know
My curse attend that Northern man that proved my overthrow.

Now to conclude these painful lines, from courting I'll refrain,
And the rest of my companions, I hope they'll do the same,
For in courting there's great jealously, and likewise envy strong,
Which caused my claret free to flow on Fanny's Harbour Bawn.

 

 

Contributed by Martha Warren

Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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