The Banks of Newfoundland | The Canadian Encyclopedia


The Banks of Newfoundland

'The Banks of Newfoundland'.

'The Banks of Newfoundland'

'The Banks of Newfoundland'. At least six different folk songs have this title, but the most widely known is an old Irish broadside ballad that gives a colourful description of the hardships of sailing across the north Atlantic in winter: 'Beware of the cold nor'westers on the banks of Newfoundland'. It was particularly popular on the sailing ships carrying emigrants from Britain to America during the 19th century, and was preserved by maritime singers in both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. It is related to an earlier British ballad describing the sufferings of convicts transported to the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (after 1853, Tasmania). It was published in W. Roy Mackenzie's Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia (Cambridge, Mass 1928) and is also in the Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland (Cambridge, Mass 1933) by E.B. Greenleaf and G.Y. Mansfield. Harry Somers included it in his Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. Alan Mills recorded it for Folkways (Songs of the Maritimes). It has also been recorded by the Men of the Deeps (Waterloo WRC-1 1143), Margaret Christl and Ian Robb (Folk Legacy FSC-62), and the Memorial University Choir (Waterloo WR-18).

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