Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 14 2010-02-15T18:02:00Z 2010-02-15T18:02:00Z 6 389 2220 Timberhead 18 4 2726 9.6926

                        The Boats of Peter's River

                                    © 1995 Mary Garvey

                                   

            Mary said "I wrote [this song]when I went back to Peter's River a few years ago.  I had worked on a whale research study there some years ago through the University of Newfoundland, and wanted to see it again.  This was after the collapse of the cod fishery in Newfoundland, and fishermen couldn't even go out and catch a few fish for their families."

            She added "The bit about shooting their boats is true.  A really bad storm came up while I was there, and the men did go and shoot their boats to sink them so they would survive the storm."  I dare you to try this at home… GB

            Mary Garvey is a Pacific Northwest songwriter with more than 50 songs to her credit.  She currently resides in Washington State.

 

Gordon – 12-string guitar

 

            Not a boat in Peter's River or in all St. Mary's Bay

          The fishermen in rubber boots are staying home today

          Hanging out the laundry, hang out in the store

          And the Little Boats of Newfoundland are idle on the shore*

          The men of Peter's River are just barely getting by

          And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

          The wives of Peter's River are taking up the slack

          Fisheries has ended and it's never coming back         

          Sell a little knitting, set some broody hens

          No sooner does a hard day end, another one begins

          The wives of Peter's River are too strong to sit and cry

          And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

          The boys of Peter's River are as bright as boys can be

          Their eyes are on the highway instead of on the sea

          Where their fathers went before them is not where they must go†

          And the fate of Peter's River is not for us to know

                    The boys of Peter's River are too young to wonder why

                    And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

          The storms of Peter's River have pounded us for years

          Crashing in the harbour and smashing up the piers

          We've ridden out these storms before by shooting at our boats

          But we know this storm is different, - and we cannot stay afloat

                    There's no nets in Peter's River laying out to dry

          And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky.

 

* "Little Boats of Newfoundland" is the name of a Newfoundland song

† Sir Cavendish Boyle, Ode to Newfoundland:

          As loved our fathers, so we love/Where once they stood we stand

          This prayer we raise to Heaven above:/God guard thee Newfoundland

 

The Boats of Peter's River is recorded on Herrings in the Bay and is also in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul