Success to Every Man
DESCRIPTION: "De time is drawin' near, me b'ys, De narthern floe to face, So we must get out 'aulin' rope, De whitecoats fer to lace!" Various sealing ships are listed. The singer wishes success and prosperity to the sealers
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (England, Vikings of the Ice)
KEYWORDS: hunting ship
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Ryan/Small, p. 109, "Success to Every Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: George Allan England, _Vikings of the Ice: Being the Log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt_ (also published as _The Greatest Hunt in the World_), Doubleday, 1924, pp. 233-234, "(no title)" (1 text)
NOTES [311 words]: Several of the ships in this piece are mentioned in other items in the Index.
For the Viking, see "To the Memory of the Late Captain Kennedy." The Suthren Cross is obviously the Southern Cross, for which see The Southern Cross. For the Kite, see "The 'Kite' Abandoned in White Bay." That leaves the Nipshun. There is no such sealer, but the name is a likely mis-hearing of the Neptune, for which see "Neptune, Ruler of the Sea." We know that sealers on occasion referred to the Neptune as the "Nipshun"; England, p. 116, has the sealers of the Terra Nova say that George Barbour (who at that time commanded the Neptune; Chafe, p. 88) was in charge of the Nipshun.
The names of these ships isn't much dating information. The Neptune first went sealing in 1873, and lasted until 1941 (Feltham, p. 93), though she missed the hunt in 1904 (Chafe, p. 102), plus a few years in the 1930s (but this song is older than that, so it hardly matters). The Viking first went to the ice in 1904 (Chafe, p. 105), and lasted until it suffered a powder explosion in 1931 (Feltham, pp. 157-159). The Southern Cross went to the ice for the first time in 1901 (Chafe, p. 104), and was lost with all hands in 1914 (Feltham, pp. 128-131). The Kite first went sealing in 1877 (Chafe, p. 101) and sailed every year until 1914, then started again in 1918.
On its face, the mention of these four ships would permit any date from 1904 to the beginning of 1914, but we can narrow things a little more. The song mentions "wood and ironclads," i.e. wooden and steel sealers. The first steel ship was the SS Adventure, for which see "I Am a Newfoundlander." Her first trip to the ice was in 1906. And ironclads is plural, so it has to be after the fleet had multiple ironclads. I'd say that restricts us to 1908-1913. My gut feeling is that this comes from 1911. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
- Chafe: Levi George Chafe, Chafe's Sealing Book: A History of the Newfoundland Sealfishery from the Earliest Available Records Down To and Including the Voyage of 1923, third edition, Trade Printers and Publishers, Ltd., 1923 (PDF scan available from Memorial University of Newfoundland)
- England: George Allan England, Vikings of the Ice: Being the Log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt (also published as The Greatest Hunt in the World), Doubleday, 1924
- Feltham: John Feltham, Sealing Steamers, Harry Cuff Publications, 1995
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