Greenland Disaster (I), The
DESCRIPTION: A sealing expedition leaves St. John's for the ice fields and all is well. When the men reached the ice, a storm comes up and freezes them. There are 25 dead and 23 missing. The singer concludes by hoping his audience will pray with him.
AUTHOR: Mrs. John Walsh ?
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
KEYWORDS: storm disaster death hunting
Mar 21, 1898 - Greenland disaster
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Doyle2, pp. 40-41, "The Greenland Disaster" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 146, "The Greenland Disaster" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, p. 79, "The Greenland Disaster" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ryan/Small, pp. 46-51, "The Greenland Disaster (1)," "The Greenland Disaster (2)" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
ST Doy40 (Partial)
cf. "The Greenland Disaster (II -- Sad Comes the News)" (subject)
cf. "The Greenland Disaster (III -- Miscellaneous)" (subject)
NOTES: Horace Beck in his book Folklore and the Sea (Mystic Conn.: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1985), p. 208 gives a brief account of sealing disasters in Newfoundland that he obtained from George A. England, Vikings of the Ice (London, 1924) pp. 54-59. - SH
This song is item dD34 in Laws's Appendix II. Laws knew only the version in Greenleaf/Mansfield; obviously it is more popular than he thought.
The versions of this song are very diverse; Blondahl's, e.g., tells the story of the disaster in detail, while Doyle's is a bit briefer on that account but spends many stanzas detailing the names of the dead. Some of this may be caused by the vast numbers of Greenland Disaster poems floating about; Ryan/Small have four probably non-traditional versions in addition to the two traditional forms (this and "The Greenland Disaster (II)." - RBW
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