The Annie Young



1. Ye people all both great and small, I’ll have you to understand
The perils of the ocean when you are safe on land;
It’s concerning of the Annie Young, George Hayman in command,
And seven more bold and sturdy lads belong to Fox Island.

2. On the twenty-fourth of August the truth I will relate,
In nineteen hundred and thirty-five those poor men met their fate.
They left their homes all full of joy, bound on the Labrador;
Not thinking they would never see their home or friends no more.

3.The Man Alone was close alongside, George Warren in command;
As they were keeping company about fifteen miles from land.
The gale did blow so heavy, and it was growing night;
They were forced to bring their schooners to, thought they’d ride out all right.

4.But as the gale was raging, the seas were raging too;
It was in the Gulf those boats did lie, and what more could they do.
The Man Alone she rode it out, and they reached their homes all right;
They lost sight of the light of the Annie Young about eleven o’clock that night.

5. What time those poor boys met their doom no tongue nor pen can tell;
But we trust that they’re in heaven, safe with the angels dwell.
We know they fought hard for their lives, but it was all in vain;
They sank below in a watery grave, and we’ll never see them again.

6. The Annie Young was twenty-two tons and she was two years old;
To look upon this noble boat she seemed to be very bold.
The skipper of the Man Alone those words I heard him say:
“That evening when the gale came on her mainsail tore away.”

7. The skipper was thirty-four years of age, left a wife and children three;
We trust that they’ll be looked upon and always happy be.
We know he thought upon them when he saw he was doomed to die;
To think of him lying in the deep, how mournful they would cry.

8. The second hand was a pleasant man, John McDonald was his name;
He also left two children, we know he felt the same .
To think about his orphans he was going to leave behind;
We know he felt broken-hearted when they passed through his mind .

9. The other six were all single lads with hearts both brave and strong;
Three of them were Coley boys, Fox Island did belong .
John Warren and Bennie Hayman, the cook they had on board;
And Johnnie Marks was the other lad that was called home by the Lord.

10.Those poor men all left parents who sadly for them weep;
And talk about their loved ones that are lying in the deep.
Their looks will never be forgot while relations do remain;
Their places never will be filled in Fox Island again.

11. There are brothers and there are sisters who also for them weep;
But they trust that God has guided them to a home of rest and sleep.
We know it’s hard to think about those eight young lives so fair;
So little they thought when they left their home, their end it was so near.

12. So now my song is ended, I’ll close it with regret.
We may sail the ocean all around and dangers never meet;
But we must all trust in the Lord and give to Him our love,
That He may send us mercy from the heavens up above.


Source: Lehr, Genevieve, and Anita Best. Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985, p.4-5.

13 responses to “The Annie Young”

  1. Jim Carwardine says:

    Do you have a recording of the long version of the Annie Yoimg song. My friend Gerry Hayman is the son of the skipper of the Annie Young and would like to hear the tune…

  2. Heather Sparling says:

    No, I’m afraid I don’t. In fact, I don’t have any recording of it, long or otherwise! Is there a short version? I would love to have more information about it (who recorded it? when? what album?). If you know anything more, please message me. Feel free to email me (heather_sparling AT cbu DOT ca) or reply here. Thanks for getting in touch!

  3. Alma Murphy says:

    HI, in response to you interest in a recoding of the Annie Young, there was a version recorded by a group called the Ocean Showband which isn’t correct.The tune is incorrect. There is a tape of Uncle Walt singing it, I believe there are a couple actually. Family members have them.

    • Heather Sparling says:

      Thank you so much for the information! If you have links to any of the recordings, I’d love to have them.

  4. Cal Warren says:

    Walter Hayman was in fact the brother of George Hayman, skipper of the Annie Young. My Mothers Brothers!!!!!!!

  5. Heather Sparling says:

    This is very interesting information, Cal. If you read the description of the disaster ( you’ll see that we have documented that there were two Haymans on board: the ship’s captain (George Hayman) and the cook (Bennie Hayman). I didn’t get the impression that they were closely related, although perhaps they were. The songwriter is Walter Hayman and I had read that he was brother to Bennie Hayman (the cook) but no mention was made of his relationship to George Hayman (the captain). From what you’ve written, we have it wrong here. Was Bennie Hayman related to your mother at all, or just George and Walter? I don’t suppose you have any more information about Walter? I’d love to know more about him as a songwriter. Thanks so much for commenting!

    • Cal Warren says:

      You definately got it wrong. The Captain, George Hayman was my mothers brother. Walter Hayman, who wrote the song, was my mothers brother also. The Cook Bennie Hayman was their first cousin..All the Haymans on Fox Island were related…..This information is common knowledge among the crowd from Fox Island and not even debated. Sorry !!!!

    • Cal Warren says:

      Oh My Yes.. I spent a lifetime with Uncle Walt…I would be glad to share information….There are people around our family who has recordings of uncle Walt singing….

  6. Heather Sparling says:

    No apologies needed, Cal! One of the best parts of a website like this is the ability to crowd-source information. I appreciate the corrections!

  7. Cal Warren…Do you know if there Are any pictures of the Annie Young or her caption George Hayman? He would have been my grandfather…my mom was Ellen the oldest of his three children.


  8. My wife Katherine Hardy and I used to live with her grandmother the late Lillian Hayman in 1976-78!
    I often heard Lillian talk about how the loss of so many men in Fox island caused the woman to take on task that were ordinarily men’s work.
    She herself was a midwife from Fox island, and also was real good with carpentry tools and the like.
    She said that in the absence of the men the had no choice but to adapt.

    Now some 40 years later I have a broader understand.
    Out of adversity we grow strong, and such was the case for the fox islanders .

  9. Heather Sparling says:

    Thank you for this information! I often disagreed with a disaster scholar colleague about the definition of disaster. A number of scholars insist that a disaster can only be deemed a disaster when there is a major impact on human social life. This could be the loss of telecommunications or the loss of significant infrastructure, such as roads or buildings. As a result, this colleague argued that shipwrecks did not constitute a disaster because they occurred at sea, causing no direct damage to any given community. And with relatively small numbers of deaths, he argued, the loss of life was rarely significant. You tell a different story: the loss of life was in fact so significant that it changed the way that labour was divided and performed in the community. I have good fuel for my side of the debate now! ;-)

  10. Gery says:

    Here is a mobile-friendly page with a video and notes at GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador:

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