Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 18 - Searching for Cape Breton Folk Songs

Page 18 - Searching for Cape Breton Folk Songs

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (885 reads)
 

While working on that iron roof up eighteen feet or more A powerful engine with flywheel stood 'neath him on the floor While lifting up an iron sheet close by his comrade's side He lost his balance and fell forth down through that hole he made. That wheel flew 'round with lightning speed on which poor Dan did fall It cast his body with great force against that solid wall He calmly lay just where he fell beneath that monstrous stroke Though mortal pains of death he felt yet not one word he spoke. And Alfred Gwinn his dearest friend did sore lament his fate The doctors too did soon arrive but oh alas too late No earthly skill could him avail the spark of life had fled The damp of death is on him now, his marble brow o'erspread. His dearest friend stood by his side and manfully did his part 'Mid strangers in a foreign land with a sad and aching heart To meet his friends and those he loved with all his grief combined What wretched troubled thoughts that passed through Alfred's troubled mind. The Cummings that did them employ the whole expense they paid They costly robed his lifeless corpse and in a casket laid They sent his "body home again back to his native shore To be laid at rest with those he loved and they could do no more. Oh sad and awful was the day when his body home they brought Cruel death will take our dearest friends whose hand and heart we've sought His mother's grief could scarce control, most bitterly she wept For one who oft held in her arms and on her bosom slept. Daniel Gwinn His brothers and his sisters too, likewise his parents dear Gaze sadly on that cold, cold corpse while fell each bitter tear For he who fell in youth and bloom in sorrow deep they mourn But he will sleep all in that sleep till dust to dust return. Now in that cold, cold grave he lies that's narrow, long and deep That Mother Earth closed o'er her son but none disturb his sleep And may he sleep that blissful sleep where none can him disturb The heavenly sun will dry the dew from off each tender herb. Though day and night roll calmly on as they have done before The birds have flown, return again, but Dan will come no more And Alfred Gwinn his dearest friend will not forget him soon In memory of him Dan shall live although beyond the tomb. Now sisters dear don't weep for him and brothers too also Fond parents dear be reconciled for it's there we all must go Although we're falling one by one still let us hope in Christ That we may meet them all again in the fields of Paradise. George Rambeau, Smelt Brook (We visited with George Rambeau at Smelt Brook. We played "The Fate of Daniel Gwinn" for him.) George Rambeau: Yeah, that's ex- actly the way I heard it. I knew the fellow right well, as well as I knew myself--fellow that made it. And I knew Alfred, the fellow was with Dannie when he was killed. Yeah, he was a great friend of ours afterward. All dead now. • • . My mother and father used to sing it • Mother was a great singer and so was Fathero And that Alfred Gwinn-- I don't think I ever heard the like of him, singing. All those Gwinns were good singers. (Do you sing?) No, never could sing. But I liked the songs. I could sit all night and listen to someone singing. I loved songs, loved hearing them sing. (Anyone around here sing for you today?) Not too many to? day. Television today has got everything,. .. When we were growing up there was no such thing as TV. And there'd be people come in, people were always visiting, and there'd be always some in the bunch could sing--well, that was our pastime, singing Mairy Browrfs Rricd Chicken. 1079 Kings Road, Sydney River Maiy Birown has the best 1'?? in town. (19)
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