Bound Down for Newfoundland (Schooner Mary Ann)



On April 13, ninety-six
From Barbados we set sail
Kind providence did favour us
With a fair and pleasant gale
Our captain on the quarter deck
Cried, “Now, boys, lend a hand
We’ll spread her canvas to the breeze”
Bound down to Newfoundland.

McLean he was our captain
A sailor stout and brave
He was as true a seaman
As ever sailed the seas
“Gasper Embree” was our vessel’s name
As you may understand
As stout as ever ploughed the seas
Bound down to Newfoundland

For fourteen days fair wind had we
We flew along our way
The weather warm and pleasant
Our sailors’ hearts were gay
But a storm came on and the angry waves
Rose up on every hand
And rolled across our vessel’s deck
Bound down to Newfoundland.

The storm increased gale after gale
It blew with terrible force
Our little ship then sprang a leak
Twas ever getting worse
The men worked bravely at the pumps
With death on every hand
With swelling sheets we ploughed the seas
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Oh God hte terrors of that time
No human tongue can tell
The angry waves rose all around
And on our vessel fell
They washed away our wheel and boats
Nothing could withstand
Our sails and water-cask went too
Bound down to Newfoundland.

We all became exhausted
From thirst and over-work
But our captain like a sailor brave
His duty did not shirk.
The ship was made to keep her course
By His strong guiding hand
Two men were lying sick below
Bound down for Newfoundland.

The storm increased and tons of water
Rolled from rail to rail
We saw we could no longer try
To run before the gale
It soon became impossible
Out at the wheel to stand
Our oil bags were got overboard
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Our gallant vessel soon hove to
Under her only sail
The weather gained
It blew a living gale
It abated two days after
And our gallant little band
Worked at the pumps like sailors brave
Bound down to Newfoundland

Again we started on our way
Across the rolling main
And from a passing vessel
We some slight help did obtain
Some water, food and coal also
As you may understand
That we so badly needed then
Bound down to Newfoundland.

It was then one of our shipmates
Frank Lerath he took sick
Poor man he was not able
To come up on the deck
At four o’clock that afternoon
As by God’s just command
He breathed his last on the Gasperree
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Hunger and thirst had done their work
His spirit took its flight
Up to the Great Creator
We kept him that long night
But in the early morning
Our captain did command
We gave him to a sailor’s grave
Bound down to Newfoundland.

A passing wave bore him away
To his cold ocean grave
The tomb of many sailors
Who are manly, true and brave
But each one breathed a prayer for him
Who by his corpse did stand
As we lowered him over the ship’s deck side
Bound down for Newfoundland. 

Day after day, we sailed away
Across the rolling main
A thinking of those loved ones
Whom we never might see again.
For still the waves were towering high
With death on every hand
With hearts we sailed the seas
Bound down to Newfoundland.

Land! Land! at last that grateful cry
Rang over all the ship
Land! Land! thank God! there’s land at last
Was on each sailor’s lip
And late at night with grateful hearts
By God’s all-wise command
We anchored safe in harbour
Yes, safe down in Newfoundland.

No keener tongue can tell our joy
Now that we’re safe at last
Now that we’re safe in harbour
And dangers are all past
With grateful hearts we thank our God
Who brought us safe to land
Who saved us on the stormy seas
Bound down to Newfoundland.

May God protect and bless them all
Who ever they may be
That gave us food and water
When starving out at sea.
May their lives be free from trouble
With joy on every hand
May they never need a brother’s help
Bound down to Newfoundland.

 MUNFLA 69-28D. A handwritten transcript by Frederick G. Bonnell, Jan 1969 taken from Mr. Harol Hillier, 80 years, of Lamaline.

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