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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Vinland Lyr Req: Cliffs of Baccalieu (from Stan Rogers) (4) Lyr Add: THE CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU (Jack Withers)^^ 16 Sep 00

The correct name of the song is "THE CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU". It was written by Jack Withers of Newfoundland in 1934. The version Dave quoted is probably from the Stan Rogers recording. The original version is as follows:

We were bound home in October from the shores of Labrador,
Trying to race a strong nor'easter and snow too;
But the wind came down upon us making day as dark as night,
Just before we made the land at Baccalieu.

We thought we'd make the island as we hauled her farther south,
As the gale from out the nor'east harder blew,
But the lookout quickly shouted, and there right dead ahead
Through the snow-squall loomed the land of Baccalieu.

It was hard down with the tiller and we struggled with the sheets,
Doin' our best to haul 'em in a foot or two,
And her deck soon sharply tilted 'till 'twas hard to keep your feet,
As we hauled her from the rocks of Baccalieu.

Oh, to leeward were the breakers and to win'ard was the gale,
The sleet and snow would cut you through and through;
With our lee-rail two feet under and two hands at the wheel,
We hauled her from the cliffs of Baccalieu.

The combers beat her under 'till we thought she'd never rise,
Our main-boom was buckling nigh in two,
And all hands clung to win'ard and stared with straining eyes
Down to leeward at the cliffs of Baccalieu.

Oh, we hauled her to the south'ard and our canvas stood the strain,
As the whistling snow-squalls from the nor'east blew,
But our hearts were beating gladly, for no longer could we gaze
Down to leeward at the cliffs of Baccalieu.
Stan does a fine job, but you might also enjoy Bristol's Hope version as sung by Anita Best.

A vocal/piano/guitar arrangement can be found in "Sing Around This One - Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador volume 2". Contact the publisher (me) for more info at:
or phone (709) 670-3377

(Sorry for the commercial - just trying to be helpful!)


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