Arctic Ice and Flippers
DESCRIPTION: "There's a halo round the margin of the sea, And 'tis there, if I correctly guess, will be The Arctic Ice..." where the seals are found. "We'll get the flippers yet old-timers say." The singer looks confidently at the Terra Nova and expects a good haul
AUTHOR: A. C. Wornell
EARLIEST DATE: 1951 (Wornell, Rhymes of a Newfoundlander); reportedly written 1937
KEYWORDS: hunting ship nonballad
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ryan/Small, p. 137, "Arctic Ice and Flippers" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [112 words]: For the Terra Nova, the ship mentioned in this song, see "The Terra Nova."
A "beater," mentioned in the second verse, is "a harp seal just past the 'white-coat' stage and migrating north from the breeding grounds on the ice floes off Newfoundland" (G. M. Story, W. J. Kirwin, and J. D. A. Widdowson, editors, Dictionary of Newfoundland English, second edition with supplement, Breakwater Pres, 1990, p. 35). In other words, a recently-weaned seal, less than a year old, that has just recently left its mother to survive on its own.
"Fat" is seal fat, which in the early years of the seal hunt was the most desired product -- it could be made into a valuable oil. - RBW
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