The Union from St. John’s



1. Ye landsmen that live on the land,
Come listen to what I write;
While plowing on the raging main
I always took delight.

2. You’ll stay on shore with your pretty girls,
Telling to them fine tales,
But the hardest labor that ever you done
Was to plant and reap your fields .

3. ‘Twas the eighteenth day of November last,
The heaviest gale came on,
The heavens above looked angry,
And the clouds overcast the sun.

4. The winds being south-be-east, my b’ys,
With heavy showers of hail,
The night being so dark as a dungeon,
‘Twas on the lee shore she fell.

5. Our captain he gave orders,
His orders for to obey,
He said, “You had better get forward, my b’ys,
Your foresail to lower away.”

6. We tried to reef our mainsail
But that could not be done,
It’s under a three-reef foresail, my b’ys,
Five lengths of a sea she run.

7. Two hours in that condition,
We had no means to stay,
To see the seas come tumbling down,
A wreck she continued to lay.

8. Once more she slowly rises
Which causes all hands to say:
“God bless our little vessel, my b’ys,
Once more she heads the sea.”

9. About two o’clock in the morning
We received a dreadful shock,
The vessel on her beam-ends lay
Three miles below Bellow’s Rock.

10. We boarded the wreck in the morning,
What a pitiful sight to behold!
Three frozen seamen lashed to the pumps,
While six in her cabin lay cold.

11. They’re all as hardy young fellows
As ever you could find,
Like heroes brave they fought the waves,
Like British heroes died.

12. She is the Union from St. John’s,
Right well I know her mold,
And every time as I think on this,
It makes my blood run cold.

13. She is the Union from St. John’s,
Right well I know her name,
And every night as I lay on my bed,
I would hear those young widows complain.

14. But now they’re gone, God bless them,
My b’ys, your day is done,
A widow may weep for her husband dear,
While a mother her darling son.

Citation: Peacock, Kenneth, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, p. 978-980

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