Mussels in the Corner

Traditional Newfoundland

 

Can't remember where or when I learned this song, but the 'ghosts' verse was given to me by Greg Brown, a fine Newfoundland fiddler, when we were performing in Texas a few years ago. The tine on the end is Ragtime Annie (or Raggedy Ann) that I used to play with the likes of Havilah Hawkins Sr., and Adrian Beal (of Stonington and Beal's Island). We played for a lot of dances out in the island towns when I was in my roaring twenties.

 

Gordon 12-string guitar

Anne, Cindy, Matt, & Will - vocals

 

'Deed I am in love with you

Out all day in the foggy dew

'Deed I am in love with you

Mussels in the corner

 

I took Jenny to a ball

Jenny could not dance at all

Sailed her up 'longside the wall

Left her there till Sunday

 

All the people from Belle Isle

Don't get up till half past nine

Wash their face in kerosene oil

Polly, you're a corker

 

Here they come as thick as flies

Dirty shirts and dirty ties

Dirty rings around their eyes

Dirty old Tor Bay men

 

Here they come as white as ghosts

Bay men in their little boats

It's a wonder that they floats

Dirty old Tor Bay men

 

Ask a Bay man for a smoke

He will say his pipe his broke

Ask a Bay man for a chew

He will bite it off for you

 

 

Mussels in the Corner is recorded on the album Apples in the Basket, the cassette tape February Tapes Vol II, and is in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul