Fanny's Harbour Bawn
DESCRIPTION: The singer spies his love in the arms of another and loses the ensuing fight. He claims that "baymen," like his opponent, look harmless enough but they are good fighters. The singer refrains from courting and encourages others to do the same.
AUTHOR: Mark Walker (see notes)
EARLIEST DATE: 1912 (Murphy, Old Songs of Newfoundland)
KEYWORDS: love courting fight
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Doyle2, pp. 34-35, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 185-188, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (1 texts, 3 tunes)
Lehr/Best 36, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 112-113, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: James Murphy, editor, _Old Songs of Newfoundland_, James Murphy Publishing, 1912 (PDF available on the Memorial University of Newfoundland web site), p. 3, "Fanny's Harbor Bawn" (1 text)
James Murphy, _Songs Their Fathers Sung: For Fishermen: Old Time Ditties_, James Murphy Publishing, 1923 (PDF available from the Memorial University of Newfoundland web site), p. 2, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (1 text)
George Decker, "Fanny's Harbour Bawn" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
NOTES [278 words]: Doyle claims that the song is an account of a real fight that happened "over half a century ago" (from 1940) in Labrador. He also explains that a "bawn" is a beach for drying fish and that the girl was said to have been from Conception Bay where, apparently, the singer is also from (Carbonear). The singer's cursing of the northern "bayman" from Bonavista is perhaps typical of the social status conflicts on the island. - SH
Attribution to Mark Walker is from Taking Apart "Tickle Cove Pond" in Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, vol. 29, 2002 by Philip Hiscock, p. 35. The other songs attributed to Walker in that article are "The Antis of Plate Cove," "Lovely Kitty/Katie-Oh," "The Race on Tickle Cove Pond," "Labrador Squalls," "Down By Jim Long's Stage," "The Girls from Sweet Bay," "Nellie Neil, Me Little Kettie," "Tickle Cove Pond II," "Gains I Owe in Many Lands" and "a single-stanza fragment about a local merchant hiring a Tickle Cove crew to go fishing in the north of Newfoundland."
[Hiscock repeats the attribution] in Ten things to consider about "The Star of Logy Bay" in Canadian Folk Music Bulletin, Summer 2003, Vol 37.2, p. 7. - BS
I note, however, that what seems to be the first publication, by James Murphy, dates the event "about forty years ago" (from 1912, implying a date about two decades before Doyle's) and does not list an author.
Mark Walker is listed as the author of several popular Newfoundland songs, "Tickle Cove Pond," "Fanny's Harbour Bawn," "The 'Antis' of Plate Cove," and "Lovely Katie-O"; a family tradition also says that he wrote "The Star of Logy Bay." See the notes to that song for discussion of the matter. - RBW
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