Tidal Wave at Burin (Anon)



On the eighteenth of November,
as you might all remember,
When everybody thought the world
was coming to an end,
The earth began to tremble,
like a leaf all growing nimble;
For our lives we had to scramble,
and you know what happened then.

The day began with sunshine
from early in the morning,
The wind was light and pleasant,
the sky was bright and clear;
You could hear the people talking
whilst along their roads a-walking,
Not thinking that disaster
was drawing very near.

Everything went right
until late that fatal evening,
The time I do remember
between four and five o’clock,
When the people made a wonder
what’s that rumbling noise like thunder,
Which seemed on top and underneath,
which gave them such a shock.

The water it proceeded
far out and unexceeded,
More than any tidal wave
we ever had before;
Some people in their fancy,
some they almost went a-frantic,
Trying to get safe
from that awful noise and roar.

The waves came in with power,
going forty miles an hour,
Taking everything before it
as it rushed along the shore;
There were skiffs, punts and dories,
likewise stages and shores,
And dwellings swept to glory
that will not be seen no more.

It crept the highest fountain,
it drove people to the mountain,
Where women with their children,
also elderly men and boys;
Their lot was in
at the water’s great confusion,
Saying, let us go still farther,
we don’t know how far ’twill rise.

Not a breeze did stir the ocean,
the clouds had little motion,
The moon looked pale and sodden
as she rose above the hill;
Some people say she shifted
and out of her course has drifted,
While others seem to say
that she is standing still.

No doubt her beams reflected
seem sad and unexpected,
Where men and little children
they were bathing in the waves;
There were mothers, sons and daughters
that got smothered in the waters,
And sixteen precious loved ones
have met a watery grave.

A word of appreciaton
for the people of each nation,
Who sympathised with charity,
God rest them one and all;
Their names should be recorded
and no doubt they’ll be rewarded,
When they go before their maker
in the judgement hall of God.

Most all the work completely
undone so very neatly,
They got back every longer,
every log and every shore;
Also clothes without a number,
some nails, felt and lumber,
They all got their losses
and some a darn sight more.

So now a verse of closure
from myself that great composer,
I did not get my issue
and a half a thousand due;
My land without an acre
that got torn up by the quaker,
I leave that to my maker,
and I think now that will do.


Lyrics from the website MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *