Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Goodbye to Saint Lawrence

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Goodbye to Saint Lawrence

Goodbye to Saint Lawrence
(Sam Richards)

Goodbye to St. Lawrence, farewell, Newf'n'land
I'm bound for the mainland tomorrow
There's nothing for me in the place I was born
Nothing but hardship and sorrow
Nothing but hardship and sorrow

My old man was strong, he was like a bulldog
Was raised up as tough as old leather
From the day he could walk he'd be out every day
Fishing in all kinds of weather
Fishing in all kinds of weather

Winter and summer in the boats he'd be gone
Working hard, scraping a living
Somehow found time to marry my mother
And settled down, tried to start saving
And settled down, tried to start saving

I've heard old folk tell of the year '29
When the tidal waves set the place reeling
Stirred up the breeding grounds, scattered the fish
Leaving our people half starving
Leaving our people half starving

They lived on relief for three years and more
Trying to keep themselves living
Till the Company came with their drills and their gear
Said there was money in mining
Said there was money in mining

The people 'round this place, they dug those damn mines
With hearts and with hands that were willing
Then ten hours a day they would sweat in that hole
Mucking and tramming and drilling
Mucking and tramming and drilling

My old man went down with his picks like the rest
Down in the dust and the danger
Drilling and blasting, he choked in the smoke
Down in that lousy gas chamber
Down in that lousy gas chamber

I've watched them go, seen them die of the dust
Every miner 'round here, his lungs failed him
Only one feller died harder than that
And high on a hillside they nailed him
And high on a hillside they nailed him

When my old feller had breathed his last breath
Like the others who suffered 'longside him
The Company flooded the mines and pulled out
Too few dollars in St. Lawrence mining
Too few dollars in St. Lawrence mining

For forty-five years a fortune was made
From a hellhole so murky and dusty
But what's left behind, now they've closed the mines down
A company town with no company
A company town with no company

So goodbye, St. Lawrence, farewell, Newf'n'land
I'm bound for the mainland tomorrow
There's nothing for me in the place I was born
Nothing but hardship and sorrow
Nothing but hardship and sorrow

   From the New City Songster, November '82. JN

JN
                                                 apr96
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