Loss of the Eliza – Meaney



Twas from the City of St. John’s the Eliza sailed away
Bound to her home, St. Mary’s out the 18th day
She was laden fore and aft with heavy deckload too
They spread their sails unto the breeze, those heroes staunch and true.

With the wind north-west and breezing up, gave promise fair that day
That they would quick passage make, up to St. Mary’s Bay
But a gale came on and they did run and did not think they’d fail
To make Trepassey Harbour and shelter from the gale.

When Captain Walsh of the Trasher? hove his schooner to
To shelter at Fermuse my boys, the best that he could do
But when he stayed his schooner, he saw the Eliza’s light
That all was ever seen or heard of those poor sailor boys.

Search was made and hope held out for their safe return
But never any tidings came to those that’s left to mourn
God comfort them now in their grief and keep them strong and brave
And have mercy on those sailor boys now sleeping neath the waves.

Oh fatal disaster, oh how the ocean smiled
Grief stricken parents, I’ve stolen your child
I’ve ?? the churchyard, taken from her breast
Rocked them to sleep forever upon by billowy crest.

In our saddened village at St. Mary’s Riverhead
Where many a bosom heaves a sigh and many a prayer is said
For those three heroes, courageous, daring, true
Riverhead sustains a loss in the loss of the Eliza’s crew.

To end my sad story, their names and age I’ll write
Captain James Hearn, his age scarce twenty-five
His comrade Peter Bonia, his age just twenty-four
And young John Hearn, seventeen, their loss we deep deplore.

MUNFLA 78-36 p19: handwritten transcription provided by Marie Meaney, Riverhead, St. Mary’s, sent to Kenneth Peacock in response to newspaper request. Note indicates that Marie Meaney is the composer of this song.

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