Loss of the Helen Isabel on Mistaken Point



Attention, all ye sailor boys
While I briefly tell
About Baine Johnston’s iron barque,
The Helen Isabel;
She ran upon Mistaken Point
And now a wreck she lay,
While aft she’s under water
Up in Trepassey Bay.

The Helen Isabel my boys,
The oldest in the trade,
She sailed the seas for many years,
Quick passages she made;
But now at ast she is caught fast,
This old ship had her day,
She met her Waterloo at last
Up in Trepassey Bay.

On May the 1st at early day
Barbadoes she did leave,
Her crew which all in heart felt glee,
The anchor up did heave;
She made the coast in eighteen days
Bound on for Newfoundland,
While laden with molasses,
Captain Laurie in command.

Mistaken Point, a doomed spot,
The ship she ran aground
Upon the seventeenth of May
She on the rocks did pound;
Her crew were forced to take the boats
And row to make the land,
They saw the Helen Isabel,
The strain she could not stand.

Now after five and thirty years
This good ship is no more,
Her strong bound timbers creaking
On Trepassey’s rugged shore;
But proud to state, the Captain, Mate
And crew got off the wreck,
No more will Captain Laurie
Ever tread her quarter deck.

2 responses to “Loss of the Helen Isabel on Mistaken Point”

  1. John M Anderson says:

    The wreck occurred 17th May 1904. The song is very accurate with name of captain and owners. The only real poetic license is with “timbers.” The barque was built of iron.
    Oddly, I visited Mistaken Pt just last September.

    Cheers, JA

    • Heather Sparling says:

      Thanks for verifying the song’s accuracy and for providing that interesting point about the construction materials!

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