Bill Dunbar

DESCRIPTION: "Come all you sympathizers, I pray you lend an ear. It's of a drowning accident as you shall quicklie hear." Hotel manager Bill Dunbar, liked by all, attends a race. On his return, he and (Bob Cunningham) go through the ice and drown
AUTHOR: (Billy Lyle and) Dave Curtin ?
EARLIEST DATE: 1964 (Fowke); c. 1957 (recording, Emerson Woodcock)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Bill Dunbar, a kind hotel-keeper, and Bob Cunningham lose their way while returning from the races; they drive their team onto the ice, break through and are drowned; Bill throws his mitts onto the ice to show where they went in. Bill leaves a wife and child, and is sorely mourned; once a foreman for Mossom Boyd, he was known for bravery. Singer hopes to meet on a brighter shore "there to live in happiness and old acquaintance to renew"
KEYWORDS: racing death drowning grief travel mourning lament animal horse children family wife friend landlord
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1894 (other sources say c. 1885) - Drowning of Bill Dunbar and Bob Cottingham at Gannon's Narrows on Pigeon Lake in Ontario
FOUND IN: Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Fowke-Lumbering #40, "Bill Dunbar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #3677
RECORDINGS:
Emerson Woodcock, "Bill Dunbar" (on Lumber01)
NOTES: One of Fowke's informants told her the song, widely known in the Peterborough area, was written in about 1900. Mossom Boyd, for whom Dunbar worked, came to Canada in 1834, died 1883; he was the first European to settle in the Sturgeon Lake region, and was successful in the lumber trade. - PJS
File: FowL40

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