August Gale (II), The
DESCRIPTION: "Ye darling sons of Newfoundland, please hearken unto me, How forty brave and fearless men gave up their lives at sea. The "storm on Thursday" comes up suddenly and "all the boats were on the ground around Placentia Bay"
AUTHOR: John Burke
EARLIEST DATE: 1951 (MUNFLA-Leach)
KEYWORDS: death sea ship storm wreck
Aug 25, 1935 - "Placentia Bay was hit by a severe storm ... which claimed the lives of forty fishermen." (so Lehr/Best, but see NOTES)
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Lehr/Best 5B, "The August Gale" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Johnny Burke (William J. Kirwin, editor), _John White's Collection of Johnny Burke Songs_, Harry Cuff Publications, St. John's, 1981, #53, pp. 84-85, "Lost in the Storm on the South West Coast" (1 text)
Mike Molloy, "Forty Fishermen" (on MUNFLA-Leach)
cf. "The August Gale (I)" (subject)
cf. "The Annie Young" (subject)
NOTES [229 words]: Lehr/Best associate this song with the gale of August 1935. They attribute this to John Burke, but the famous songwriter Johnny Burke died in 1930, so either the date or the attribution is in error, or it's another John Burke. The song is, however, found in Burke's collected writings. It seems pretty clear that Lehr/Best have the wrong storm. I note that August 25, 1935 was not a Thursday; it was a Sunday. I suspect it should be the August 1927 storm, for which see "The Gale of August '27"; August 25, 1927 WAS a Thursday.
Another possibility would be the great gale of August 7-8, 1926, which killed fifty people (Gerald Hallowell, The August Gales: The Tragic Loss of Fishing Schooners in the North Atlantic, 1926 and 1927, Nimbus Publishing, 2013, p. 1), but August 7-8, 1926 are a Friday and a Saturday. For that matter, Hallowell, p. 41, says that the first event to be called "the August gale" was August 24-25, 1873. But August 24-25, 1873 were a Sunday and Monday.
I would have to point out, however, that no names of ships or people are mentioned in the piece to make a firm identification possible. The ONLY clue to the date is the mention of "Thursday." On this basis, I suspect that it is either a reference to the storm of August 1927 or it is not about a specific event.
For a brief biography of Johnny Burke, see the notes to "The Kelligrew's Soiree." - RBW
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