THE SEALERS' BALL
Tom Morry - Ottawa
April, 1962 - PEA 210 Bo. 1188
Be ye much of a hand aboard a vessel,
Aboard a vessel, aboard a vessel,
Be ye much of a hand aboard a vessel
A-peltin' the puppy swiles, sir.
- Sure when we took 'em to the wharf
We got six dollars and a half,
And when we took 'em to the store
We got a dollar more, sir.
- We wrote a letter the next day,
And we posted it without delay,
And we sent it off to Jimmy Baird
For a couple of gallons o rum, sir.
- Now Saturday evenin' after tea
A couple of gallons they came to we.
We took 'em down without bein' seen
As far as Georgie Wall, sir.
- Now Saturday evenin' you can see
A couple of girls they came to we
And an elegant time was had by all
Till earlye in the mornin'!
- Now a little disturbance then arose
When everyone was picking their beaux.
When everyone had picked his own,
John Barke he had ne'er a one.
- Jack Barke goes up to Jim McGee:
"Now what's ye doin along wi' she?
She used to go along wi' me,
And she'll do the same this marnin'"
- So Jack and Jim get in a clinch.
And ne'er o' them would budge an inch,
And when the clinch broke up they found
The lady she'd a-gone, sir
- Now all young men take lesson o' this,
And never go fightin' about a miss,
'Cause all you'll do is start a big laugh,
And the lady she'll be gone. sir
Mr. Morry, who came from Ferryland, learned this catchy song from a man on the south coast, although it probably originated on the north-east where "swiling" is more common. "Pelting the puppy swiles" means skinning the young seals. The men involved used their proceeds to order rum from James Baird & Company of St. John's and then proceeded to have an "elegant time."
Since Mr. Morry sang it for Ken Peacock "The Sealers' Ball" has been collected twice from the Codroy Valley area of Western Newfoundland. Newfoundlanders will recognize the tune for it was played weekly on the popular CBC radio program, "The Chronicles of Uncle Mose" in the late 1950s, early 1960s and again in the early 1980s.
References - Peacock, 94. MUNFLA ms 71-68, pp. 40-41; MUNFLA Tape 80-134 C4793.