Search of the Thomas J, The
DESCRIPTION: The trading boat Thomas J. returns from a supposed trip to Channel and is met by a revenue boat and searched for contraband. The captain says "it's pork and beef... spuds" "The three worst government men that's on the western shore" find nothing.
EARLIEST DATE: 1959 (Guigne)
KEYWORDS: crime commerce sea ship political police
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Guigne, pp. 328-329, "The Search of the Thomas J" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [125 words]: Newfoundland songs about running rum during Prohibition include "The Brule Boys," "Young Chambers," "Kenneth Shephard" and "Captain Shepherd." Guigne says "it is not clear what exactly was being smuggled on the Thomas J., but the reference to the French community of Port-au-Port [on the 'French shore' of the western coast of southern Newfoundland] in line three of stanza six suggests that alcohol was involved." I don't follow that connection unless the people in Port-au-Port maintained a connection, during Prohibition, with French St. Pierre off the south coast of Newfoundland, the source of rum in the other songs cited in this note. Channel, the supposed target port of the Thomas J., is in the western corner of Newfoundland's south coast. - BS
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