In Memorial of 77 Brave Newfoundland Sealers
DESCRIPTION: "Sad comes the news from o'er the sea, To fill our hearts with dread, To tell us that the ones we loved Are numbered with the dead." The poem briefly mentions their home lives, and hopes that God will make things well
AUTHOR: probably Johnny Burke (1851-1930)
EARLIEST DATE: 1978 (Ryan/Small), from an undated broadside probably contemporary with the event
KEYWORDS: death hunting disaster religious
Mar 31, 1914 - date of the disaster, according to the broadside
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ryan/Small, p. 93, "In Memorial of 77 Brave Newfoundland Sealers" (1 text)
cf. "The Newfoundland Disaster (I)" (subject)
cf. Pat Maher, "The Story of the Sealing Vessel, The Newfoundland" (on NFMLeach)
cf. "The Newfoundland Disaster (II)" (subject)
NOTES [111 words]: This is one of those every-word-is-found-somewhere-else songs, but if there is an exact inspiration, I can't recall it. For background on the Newfoundland Disaster, see the notes to "The Newfoundland Disaster (1)."
I suspect this piece was written just days after the disaster, since it says that 77 sealers died. In fact the total was 78, but one of them died in hospital after being brought home from the ice. So some initial reports said 77.
Ryan/Small say that this is probably the work of Johnny Burke (1851-1930), and certainly it is similar to other pieces Burke wrote, but it is not in the collection of Burke's poems published in 1981 by William J. Kirwin. - RBW
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