Bay of Fundy

1977 Gordon Bok, BMI

 

This is about a long and weary, windless trip from Maine around to Halifax on a little black schooner that seemed to move only by the slatting of her gear. We had a coal stove in her, and the foresail used to downdraft onto the charlie noble, turn the stack into an intake and the cabin into a chimney. So, what with the coal gas and the wet, the offwatch was not much more comfortable than the deadwatch.

I think the one worked the hardest was Ed's wife Lainie, and you could hear her, working below or at the wheel, singing a little tune of her own, over and over. It was a private comfort tune that probably became as much of a comfort to the rest of us as to her.

When we got to Capt Breton Island, I asked her if I could borrow the tune and put words to it as a momento of the trip, and she said yes. And I tried, all the next fall, to make that tune say what I remembered, but after all, 'twas Lainie's tune, and private, and I had to make my own.

I tried to keep the lovely sounds, and a few notes from Sable and the Sambro horn, but what she gave us then I have no way to give.

 

All you Maine men, proud and young,

When you run your easting down,

Don't go down to Fundy Bay:

She'll wear your time away.

Fundy's long and Fundy's wide,

Fundy's fog and rain and tide;

Never see the sun or sky,

Just the green wave going by.

 

Cape Sable's horn blows all day long;

Wonder why,

Wonder why.

 

Oh, you know, I'd rather ride

The Grenfell Strait or the Breton tide,

Spend my days on the Labrador,

And never see old Fundy's shore.

All my days on the Labrador,

And never see old Fundy's shore.

 

Give her staysail, give her main,

In the darkness and the rain;

I don't mind the wet and cold,

I just don't like the growing old.

I don't mind the wet and cold,

I just don't like the growing old.

 

East-by-North or East-Northeast,

Give her what she steers the best;

I don't want this foggy wave

To be my far and lonely grave.

I don't want this foggy wave

To be my far and lonely grave.

 

Cape Sable's horn blows all day long;

Wonder why,

Wonder why.

 

Cape Breton's bells ring in the swells,

Ring for me,

Ring for me.

 

 

Bay of Fundy is recorded on the albums 1965 LP Verve Gordon Bok, Bay of Fundy, Clear Away in the Morning, North Winds Clearing, Then and Now, and is also in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow