Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 55 > Page 15 - "The Time We Had for One Another": The Curtis Family & Songs

Page 15 - "The Time We Had for One Another": The Curtis Family & Songs

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (241 reads)

ber. And in May, bodies. I told you, they got the (They got your brother's body first.) Yes. (Archie MacKinnon's) wife used to walk out --she had to walk about two miles. And she used to go down to this beach. It's away down--you never were down at White Point. (I've been around White Point. I've been out to the old cemetery.) Were you? Well, it was down there he was drowned, in that place. And the body went to a beach a good ways from that. I suppose the ice and the eeigrass and everything, and they got into that. They were lucky they got the bodies. She used to walk on the beach and look for him. And she said, "I'm going to find his body." She'd be praying that she'd get his body. So she picked up--she saw some eel- grass, and she worked, and she found his boot. She knew his boot, this rubber boot that he was wearing. So she said, "He's here somewheres. I'm going to find him." So she'd be looking through this eeigrass and travelling the beach. So this day she went, and she saw this big load of eel- grass in a big roll. She got working. Here she found his body. Her husband. So she got the body, and she went home, of course, and got help. They're (both) buried at Dingwall. (Because in the songs--in "Johnny Nicholson"--it does a mother's heart good to know that her son is in the ground, rather than in....) That was "Johnny Nicholson": "'Twould ease his mother's aching heart if he lay in the clay." (At first I said to myself. Why would that make a mother happy? But you said it would make her happier.) Oh, to know that he was laid in the ground. Some people like to be buried at sea.... (The things we sing about really have a place in their lives.) Oh, certainly. That's what I like about the Newfoundland songs. The Newfoundland songs have a mean? ing. And the Irish--songs"of Ireland. It's always--it's like history. Because it's -something--a real happening, a true hap? pening, in the majority of the songs. And JONELJIM GENERAL CONSTRUCTION TILT-UP CONCRETE BUILDINGS CONCRETE STRUCTURES PRE-ENGINEERED BUILDINGS TURN-KEY PROJECTS DESIGN BUILD Riverview Drive, Sydney Fax. 539-0104 539-2222 the Newfoundland songs--nearly every song that I have that I learned from the New? foundland guys, they're about shipwrecks-- true, true Newfoundlanders. They were fishermen, and lost their lives, and per? haps one or two were saved. And perhaps they, you know--one saved the other. By going through lots of misery. It's like the John Harvey, that went ashore there in Gabarus. Look at that John Foote, how he took a rope and went to the shore and saved the other ones. But he died.... But young John Foote, a line he took and tied It round his waist; To try and swim to the nearest land, the Ice foam he did face. How bitter was that awful night, the seas rolled mountains high, And tossed and battered by the waves was that brave Belloram boy. • from "The Wreck of the John Harvey" also called 'The Shores of Gabarus" by Lillian Crewe Walsh So all those songs, you know, they have so much meaning. That's what I like. You'll hear a song--those little jiggers--the songs they've got today, you know. They're nice, I suppose. But they'll be singing those songs, and there's no more meaning-- don't register me--I don't get anything from it. But the songs that I heard all my life from the time that I was a little child, till this day--they have so much meaning, that it's just locked in my heart. I have it there in my"heart, that I'll al? ways, till the day I'll die, you know. (Monica, the other night you talked about remembering what it was like to come in W mark'/ UJork UJeorhou/e SYDNEY SHOPPING CEKTRE - PRINCE STREET - SYDNEY ''B'' More than Just mm {'3 Great Workwear We carry a complete line to fit your needs. Superior Servtoe: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Qiperior Automatic Delivery: I every 12 or 16week9 Marketing a Complete Line of Propane Burning Appliances Superior Propane Off Hwy. #305, URches Creek, Sydney 539-1060
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