Sunday, March 10, 2013

All Around the Circle

Among the many folk songs that belong to Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the best-known and most-loved is "All Around the Circle", collected and transcribed by two folklorists, Kenneth Peacock and Gerald S. Doyle. It probably originated in the late nineteenth century, but didn't become popular outside the province until it was popularized in the book Folk Songs of Canada by Edith Fowke and Richard Johnston in 1954. The three communities in the song, Fogo, Twillingate and Moreton's Harbour, were all fishing communities located on islands along Newfoundland's north-central coast.

To listen to the song performed by Newfoundland and Labrador band Ryan's Fancy, click here.

I's the b'y that builds the boat
And I's the b'y that sails her
I's the b'y that catches the fish
And brings 'em home to Liza.

Hip your partner Sally Thibault
Hip your partner Sally Brown
Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton's Harbour
All around the circle!

Sods and rinds to cover your flake
Cake and tea for supper
Codfish in the spring of the year
Fried in maggoty butter

I don't want your maggoty fish
That's no good for winter
I can buy as good as that
Down in Bonavista

I took Liza to a dance
Fast as she could travel
Every step that Liza took
Was up to her knees in gravel

Susan White, she's out of sight
Her petticoat wants a border
Old Sam Oliver in the dark
He kissed her in the corner.

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