Page 19 - "The Time We Had for One Another": The Curtis Family & Songs
ISSUE : Issue 55
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1
I remember one in particular I always asked him to sing. But I don't know if I would say back when I was quite that young. Maybe a little older. It was called the "John Maynard." I still get goosebumps on my back, or I feel that tingle in my spine, even when I read the words to that song in that old songbook of his. It's a beautiful story. Another sad story--but it's one of these about a boat. There's all kinds of people on it, it's a passen? ger ship. And it goes on fire. And he's able to bring the thing to shore. But he's burned badly doing it. Like, one hand is completely disabled from the fire, and he's still able to steer the ship. And it's a very dramatic thing. And one of the last verses tells you about how these hands are stretched towards the shore. So they're reaching toward the shore, hoping, praying, that they're going to make it. One moment yet, one moment yet, brave heart thy task is o'er. The pebbles grate beneath her keel; the steamer touches shore. Three hundred voices raised in praise, to God that He Had saved them from that awful fire and the engulfing sea. But where is he that helmsman bold, the Captain saw him reel. His nerveless hands relaxed their grasp; he sank beneath the wheel. The waves received his lifeless form, blackened by smoke and fire. God rest him; never a hero had a nobler funeral bier. • more from "John Maynard" Good heavens, now that I think about it, the song starts out, "Upon Lake Erie's peaceful breast." So it must have been on Lake Erie that it happened. But anyway, as the song ends, the boat is--you hear it touching the pebble as he brings the thing ashore--he has to really ram it on shore, I guess. And he dies. Because he's--"(the waves) received his lifeless form, black? ened by smoke and fire." But anyway, that was a song that always did wonderful, wonderful things to me. When I think about it now, just telling you about it I get that same feeling-- isn't that strange? I must have been here another time and was on a boat, in another life, and was rescued by somebody. Maybe that's why I feel that. (I assume you did not sing along with your father when he sang that one, either.) Yes, I did. In later years I did. Just be? cause I loved it so much that I wanted to be part of it, too. This is so strange to TENDER JUICY MEAT DISHES "'Sce'uS*' chops"*"""'" soups • chowders ~ HOMEMADE on the PREMISES ~ pastries • rolls While visiting FORTRESS LOUISBOURG drop anchor at ANCHORS AWEIGH 1095 Main Street • LOUISBOURG • 733-3131 tell you this, but I'm going to tell you anjrway. I could do it for the first-- however many verses--let's say there's 8 verses. I could do it for the first 6 verses, and then I couldn't the last 2 be? cause I became too emotional, that I couldn't sing along with him. I would be just too--I guess my voice would tremble or whatever, I don't know. But that's what the "John Maynard" did to me. Isn't that strange? But mostly you wanted to listen, to take in every word. But it's incredible when you think of how often you heard them, you knew the story. Yet you just clung to every word.... There were so many emotional songs. Like there's a beautiful one called "The Boys That Wore the Blue," about a young man who was going off to war. This particular song was a favourite of John D.'s brother, Charlie MacDonald. And always, always, when he came to our house, he would ask CONTACT LENSES OFFICE HOURS , MON. - FRI. 4 8:30-12:30 1:30-4:30 Fitting and Service ALLAN G. MOSS LC.LF. - C.O.T. 316 St. Peter's Rd., Sydney B1P3R1 564-5552 'GIANT MacASKILL MUSEUM with Craft Shop and Confectionery/Snack Shop CLOTHING FURNITURE PHOTOGRAPHS INFORMATION GENEALOGY OPEN 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. DAILY till October 8 ADMISSION $1.00/adults * 500/children with parents * Group Rates 2.5 km. from ENGLISHTOWN FERRY on Route 312 Cape Breton Tours operated by Briands Cabs Ltd. ( Discover the Beauty of Cape Breton ) Cabot Trail Miners' Museum Cape Breton Fortress Highlands 564-6200 louisbourg Limousine Service Taxi Fieet 24 KINGS ROAD SYDNEY Airport Service Parcei Picltups THE* d" .' • Y'fMk ' • ' (iiiiit 24N Ifimriri HOURSy X'''V M FLEET '/df?i' Viaf'ffc ' • ' tfJMy) fivERY y*' v??'
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