The Loss of the Danny Goodwin



Kenneth Peacock collected “The Loss of The Danny Goodwin” in 1959 from Kenneth Pink, a man from Rose Blanche, NL. Peacock published this song in Songs of the Newfoundland Outports(vol 3). The original author is not known.

Peacock, Kenneth. 1965. Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. 3 vols. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.


1. Come all you people far and near, come listen to my song,
In language I’ll explain to you, it won’t delay you long,
Come hear about Captain Lafosse so lately has took command
In a schooner named the Danny Goodwin from New Harbour, Newfoundland.

2. They sailed away from New Harbour, to the western shore did go,
To risk their lives in dories through frost and wind and snow,
Saying good-bye to friends at home and all whom they adored
Never dreaming that they would meet their doom upon the western shore.

3. It was on a Monday morning they got her under way,
The sixth day of December, a creak-cold winter’s day,
She carried a crew of six fishermen, and dories he had two,
The Danny being a noble boat, built over spankin’s new.

4. On Rose Blanche bank that morning, ‘twas there he brought her to,
His dories they were lowered away as he oftentimes used to do,
Before those trawls were taken back a heavy storm did rise,
It was a hard and a trialing time on those poor fishing b’ys.

5. The wind sprang from the east-southeast and bitterly did blow,
The sea it was rolling mountains high in a blinding drift of snow,
No one can tell if she came to land or under close-reef sail,
Or if she got disabled in the dreadful winter’s gale.

6. A captain from another boat those words we heard him say,
“He did not have his dories when we got under way,
He might have got his dories, yet we do not understand,
Perhaps he got them safe on board and shaped her up for the land.”

7. To come to land that evening in a blinding drift of snow,
This captain was a stranger and those harbours did not know.
No doubt he might have come to land or else here on the shore,
Perhaps he drifted far out to sea to never return no more.

8. This blow was hard for friends at home and sad news for to hear,
The loss of sons and husbands, the ones they loved so dear,
Likewise their aged mothers oh bitterly will cry
To see their sons all leaving their homes and wishing them all good-bye.

9. There are five poor widows left behind who bitterly will cry,
All thinking of their loved ones who in the deep do lie,
But we must all remember they fought hard for their lives,
To sea they had to go and leave their children and their wives.

10. So now my song is to an end, I have nothing more to say,
Trying to earn a living those b’ys were called away,
Their wives and little children they’ll never see no more,
But now they gave up all hopes to land on the western shore.

Citation: Peacock, Kenneth. Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, p. 942-943.

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