The Wreck of the Mollie



My Dearest Friend and citizens I pray you lend an ear
As I relate a story that happened late last year
It was just beore the Christmastide the Season of Goodwill
[It’s] about the Schooner Mollie and her crew from Carmanville.

Around the 20th of December month she left her Port in Town
She was loaded with provisions and for Carmanville was bound
She crossed Conception Bay my friends not thinking it her last
The people here at Bay de Verde they watched her as she passed.

The evening closed upon her and the Skye looked very grey,
Her sails spread out as if becalmed as she went on her way
They hove her round at several times to try and get along
But the people think the tide was running Southern very strong.

She passed the Tickle just at dark and that is all we know
A little draught came Eastern just enough to make her go
The wind increased at nine that night and snow came drifting high
But little did we ever think of the ship that just passed by.

The night got worse the winds did howl and weather thick withal
The Fog Alarm on Baccalieu rang out its dismal call.
When dawning broke it still grew worse till One o’clock that day
When the sad report soon spread around just listen what I say.

The news came on the radio bout the fatal ship
Down there at Grates Cove in the beach and all a total wreck
The Sea was raging at the time and little could be done
[It’s] sad to tell – I’ll do my best – so listen what’s to come.

The [people] down at Grates Cove received an awful shock
To see a schooner and her crew dashing upon the rocks
No doubt they watched with eager eyes to see if there might be
The sign of any Human Life [upon] that dreadful Sea.

As they stood gazing on the wreck the seas ran awful high
Soon bolognas, apples, oranges were then seen tossing by
But after all that did not count their eyes still stared the wreck
For weary, cold and lonely hours but still no bodies yet.

The next appeared before their eyes was articles of clothes
There was socks and mitts and caps and shirts [what else] nobody knows
They must have felt that Life was vain as they strived to do their best
[It’s] very, very sad to say this crew had gone to Rest.

The Seas beat down, the snow did cease, these men they lost no time
Preparing boats and forming crews to see if they could find
These bodies who had gone to rest amid the wrecking ship
To their surprise and [longing] eyes three of these men did get.

The search was still continued, two more bodies they did get
Twas hard to tell how many of a crew was on that Ship.
The radio informed the men that her crew did total five.
So the search was discontinued – but for a [little while].

That [very] night the news came on the radio did say
That her crew was five but sad to say a passenger on way
A fine young man just in his prime, his name was “Otto Hicks”
From “Dootings Cove” he did belong just making total six.

The men of Grates Cove then at once began to start anew
To search the Harbour and to find the last man of the crew
The people down at Carmanville owe much credit and Praise
To Grates Cove men who very soon the last man [chanced] to raise.

Now [Mr.] Chaulk the Captain was the first man been restored
A fine young man just in his prime his age being twenty-four
This man was soon identified as he was brought to land
By the initials on his Ring that was till upon his hand.

These six brave lads were all restored it must be hard to see
These corpses lying cold and stiff when swallowed by the Sea
They were prepared for [burial] and clothed all anew
Laid side by side in Grates Cove Lodge, awaiting what to do

The Leaders of the sad event communications made
With Mr. Hopkins Perlicn with him an order laid
The caskets purchased numbered six without further delay
Were then conveyed to grates Cove to the L.O.L. [1] that day

They lay to rest in Grates Cove Lodge just for a little while
Then they were conveyed to Perlican by way of horse and slide
For four long days they rested there with everything so still
Awaiting for the steamer to take them home to Carmanville.

She left St. John’s the 20th, the wind North West it blew
She took her course across the Bay over the Ocean blue
She reached Old Perlicn at twelve, her mournful blow did make
As if to say, I’m come home for those [whom] homeward I must take.

Arrangements were carried out with very little rush
These corpses six were then conveyed to the Sea they loved so much
Their final trip cross the waves never more to toil
To lie at rest in Carmanville beneath their native soil.

When placed on board the steamship “Northern Ranger” was her name
The people there felt very sad sure we all felt the same
Her anchors drew, her whistle blew, twas heard by all on shore
As if to say you did your part you can’t do any more.

Just picture, friend, the story as these dear lads reach home
Who from their Friends and loved ones [ne’er] again will roam
May God look down in Mercy upon these loved ones Dear
As we extend our Sympathy most tender and sincere.

They reached their homes at Carmanville the day [bein’] New [Year’s] Eve
To see the steamer drawing [nigh] these people’s hearts did grieve
The corpse [sic] were taken from the Ship and placed upon the pier
There was Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Wives and likewise [Sweethearts] there.

These boxes strewn with flowers and placed in a line
The hearts of all were touched within ssembled at the time
To those bereaved at Carmanville heartbreaking it must be
To see their Loved Ones once again placed in their Company.

These lads were each sent to his home and witnessed by each own
When gazed upon their faces so fair but stiff and cold
From there unto the [Cemetery] the day being New Year’s Day
With tears and sighs, weepings and cries, committed to the Clay.

This story goes to show my friends how all of Newfoundland
Will sacrifice in times of need and lend a helping hand
They are so tender hearted and can play most any game
You’ve oft time read their character sure I have done the same.

So [here’s] a word for Grates Cove men their names I must bring in
These heroes brave who fought the seas to try and find these men
These men of great endurance of love and noted skill
Shall be always praised and [ne’er] forgot by those at Carmanville.

These worthy men I must admit had every credit due
In showing hospitality to that ill-fated crew
They toiled so hard and sympathized with those who’re left to mourn
May God look down in Mercy and send them some return.

So now, my friends, I wish to close – you’ve heard the sad affair
Few days have passed and we have stepped into another year
Here’s health and luck, prosperity to everyone of You
But we shall [ne’er] forget the wreck of “Mollie and her Crew.”

[1] LOL = Loyal Orange Lodge, a fraternal organization

Lyrics from Halley, pp79-83. She provides extensive commentary on the conventions evident in this song as well.

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