DESCRIPTION: Captain Shepherd sails to St Pierre. In a storm he stops at Bonne Bay where he is turned in for smuggling liquor. The police find no evidence. Shepherd gets another schooner. The singer hopes this fall "dis brave, undaunted man will have a drop to sell"
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Leach-Labrador)
KEYWORDS: crime sea ship drink police
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Leach-Labrador 83, "Captain Shepherd" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST LLab083 (Partial)
cf. "Kenneth Shephard" (character)
NOTES [230 words]: Leach-Labrador: "It is a local song of the Prohibition era ... St Pierre: an island off the southeast coast of Newfoundland belonging to France. During prohibition it became a wholesale warehouse supplying rum-runners all along the coast." - BS
Newfoundland had a large Irish Catholic minority that would never have supported prohibition, and many Protestants also drank. But there were also many Protestants who absolutely opposed the use of alcohol and favored restricting its use. One of those who did so was William F. Coaker, head of the Fisherman's Protective Union (for whom see "Coaker's Dream"), who in the 1910s was one of Newfoundland's most influential men. He was a firm advocate of prohibition (S. J. R. Noel, Politics in Newfoundland, University of Toronto Press, 1971, p. 132).
World War I gave them their chance: "[I]n 1915, in an excess of 'temperance,' which its zealots somehow confused with patriotism, Newfoundlanders voted in a national plebiscite to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages (Noel, p. 131. Footnote 48 on that page says that 24,965 voted in favor of prohibitions, 5348 against -- but that more than half the electorate did not vote. And it was obviously the zealots who turned out). Prohibition went into effect at the start of 1917, causing Newfoundland, like the United States, to develop a culture of defying restrictions on liquor. - RBW
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