“Harbour La Cou”
From the album Revenge of the Swile, 2019
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Person list

Words (attributed):

  • Jack Dodd


  • Traditional

Locations associated with this song:

Background Info:

The late Jack Dodd of Torbay claimed to have composed Harbour Le Cou. This version of the song was sung in 1951 by Bill Brennan of Stock Cove to Kenneth Peacock of the National Museum. Peacock gave a copy of his transcription to Gerald S. Doyle, who published it in his 1955 songster; it also appeared in Peacock's Songs of the Newfoundland Outports (1965). Brennan learned the song in a lumber camp, where similar songs about the romantic misadventures of married men away from home had a certain resonance. Harbour Le Cou is on the South Coast of the Island, near Port Aux Basques.
Dr. Neil V. Rosenberg, Catch Ahold this One...Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador –Volume 1
© Vinland Music. Reproduced with permission


HARBOUR LE COU – Attributed to Jack Dodd

As I rode ashore from my schooner close by,
A girl on the beach sure I chanced to espy.
Her hair it was red and her bonnet was blue;
Her place of abode was Harbour Le Cou.

O boldly I asked her to walk on the sand,
She smiled like an angel and held out her hand;
So I buttoned me guernsey and hove ‘way me chew
In the dark rolling waters of Harbour Le Cou.

My ship she lay anchored far out on the tide,
As I strolled along with the maid at my side.
I told her I loved her; she said “I'll be true,”
As I winked at the moon over Harbour Le Cou.

As we walked on the sands at the close of the day,
I thought of my wife who was home in Torbay;
I knew that she'd kill me if she only knew
I was courting this lassie in Harbour Le Cou.

As we passed a log cabin that stood on the shore,
I met an old comrade I'd sailed with before,
He treated me kindly, saying, “Jack, how are you?
It's seldom I see you in Harbour Le Cou.”

And as I was parting, this maiden in tow,
He broke up my party with one single blow,
Saying, “Regards to your missus and wee kiddies two,
I remember her well, she's from Harbour Le Cou.”

I looked at this damsel, a-standing 'long side,
Her jaw it dropped, and her mouth opened wide;
And then like a she-cat upon me she flew,
And I fled from the furies of Harbour Le Cou.

Come all you young sailors who walk on the shore,
Beware of old comrades you sailed with before;
Beware of the maiden with bonnet of blue,
And the pretty young damsels of Harbour Le Cou.

from Catch Ahold this One...Songs of Newfoundland & Labrador –Volume 1
© Vinland Music. Reproduced with permission.

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