Schooner Fred Dunbar

            Words: Amos Hanson; Music: Gordon Bok


            A friend sent me these words a few years back.  The song was made by Amos Hanson of Orland, Maine about 1850 or 1860 and became quite popular along the Ocas.  It was collected in N. Blue Hill from Mrs. Emery Howard and her son Julian in 1932.  Both Sandy Ives and Dick Swain know the 'real' tune and more complete verses, but I didn't think to ask them in time.  This is my truncated version, then, with a tune of my own.



            You darlin' girls of Bagaduce who live along the shore

            Tis little do you think or know what sailors do endure

            Or if you did, you'd treat them with more respect than before

            You never would go with a land loper while sailors are ashore.


            Oh those Penobscot cowboys will tell you girls fine tales

            Of all the hardships they endure when they are in the cornfields

            They'll feed their  hens and punch their pigs and make their mothers roar

            While we like jovial hearted lads go to the Bay Chaleur.


            On board of the Schooner Fred Dunbar well found in fishing gear

            We crowded on our canvas for Green's Landing we did steer.

            When we arrived at anchor, the sun was setting low.

            'Twas there we shipped young Stinson and Captain Mood Thurlow.


            When we arrived at Port Musgrave we hauled in for our salt

            We took our little fiddle ashore to have a little waltz

            It was twelve of us when we started, our songs through the woods did roar

            When we arrive I was surprised I could not count but four.


            On the first day of September broad off Cape Mardeau

            We struck a squall from the south southeast which broke her boom in two.

            So gallantly she weathered it and it was fine to see

            Her walk to the windward with mainsail down bound out for Margaree.


            On the last day of September I will remember well

            What we poor sailors do endure no tongue can ever tell

            The wins grew strong, the seas grew rough in torrents fell the rain

            I never saw such a night as that I hope I shan't again.


            You darlin' girls of Bagaduce, the time is drawing nigh

            When you will see the Stars and Stripes from our main topsail fly

            Get ready, gallant lassies, put on your other gown

            For soon you'll see the Fred Dunbar come sailing up to town.


            And now our voyage is over and we are safe ashore

            With our pockets full of greenbacks that we’ve earned in the Bay Chaleur

            So merrily we'll dance and sing as we have done before

            And when our money is all spent we'll plow the old bay for more.




Schooner Fred Dunbar is recorded on Schooners and is also in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul