Person list


  • Johnny Burke


  • Traditional

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Background Info:

A fine example of the comical style of Johnny Burke (1851-1930), the ‘Bard of Prescott Street'. This song appears in Burke's Popular Songs (1927); it was more recently popularized by Great Big Sea's recording.
Eric West, All Together Now...Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador –Volume 3
© Vinland Music. Reproduced with permission


THE HARBOUR GRACE EXCURSION (Excursion Around the Bay) – By Johnny Burke

It was on last Monday morning, the day being calm and fine,
For the Harbour Grace excursion with the boys to have a time;
And just before the sailors took the gangway from the pier,
I saw some fellow haul me wife aboard the Volunteer.

Chorus: "Oh me, oh my", I heard me poor wife cry,
"Oh me, oh my", I think I'm gonna die;
"Oh me, oh my", I heard me poor wife say,
"I wish I'd never taken this excursion around the bay".

We had full three hundred souls aboard, oh what a splendid sight,
And Matt Strange in regimentals for to make our spirits bright;
And meself being in a double from the funny things he'd say,
They'll choke themselves from laughing when they see us in the bay.

My wife she got no better, she turned a sickly green,
I fed her cake and candy, fat pork and kerosene;
Castor oil and sugar of candy, I rubbed pure oil on her face,
And I said she'll be a dandy when we reaches Harbour Grace.

She seemed to get no better, my wife my darling dear,
The screeches from yours truly you could hear in Carbonear;
I tried every place in Harbour Grace tried every store and shop, To get her something for a cure to take her to the hop.

She died below the Brandies as we were coming back,
We buried her in the ocean, wrapped in a Union Jack;
So now I am a single man in search of a pretty face,
And the woman who says she'll have me, we're off for Harbour Grace.

from All Together Now...Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador –Volume 3

See lyrics on a page by themselves